NEW: 12 former senior intel official issue statement on "ill-considered & unprecedented remarks & actions by the White House" re former @CIA Dir. @JohnBrennan
"Insinuations and allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Brennan while in office are baseless," they say
"The president’s action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances – and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech" per statement
"We have never before seen the approval or removal of security clearances used as a political tool...this action is quite clearly a signal to other former and current officials" the former intel officials say
re @POTUS revoking @JohnBrennan's security clearance
"We all saw in 2016 what happened when the #Russia|ns & possibly others, but the Russians for certain tried to do both influence operations & actually get in & actually corrupt some of the election process" per SecDef Mattis before meeting w/#British Defense Sec @GavinWilliamson
"The adversaries may be more than just #Russia" @DeptofDefense Sec Mattis tells reporters re #election security "We are not focused solely on one country. We are focused on protecting the elections themselves"
Highlights fro #Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing on foreign interference via social media platforms:
"Election interference from abroad represents an intolerable assault on the democratic foundation this republic was built on" per @SenatorBurr
"It's also important that the American people know that these activities neither began nor ended with the 2016 elections" per @SenatorBurr "Foreign actors continue an aggressive and pervasive influence campaign against the #UnitedStatesofAmerica"
MORE: Senate Intel Committee "concurs with intelligence and open-source assessments that this influence campaign was approved by President #Putin" per just issued report
re #Russia meddling with #Election2016 with eventual goal to boost @realDonaldTrump
NEW: Senate Intel Committee report backs US intelligence finding that #Russia#Putin "aspired to help" President-elect Trump - says US agencies provided intel "to support this assessment...information obtained subsequent to publication of the ICA provides further support"
US needs low yield nuclear weapons, @US_Stratcom Cmdr @usairforce Gen John Hyten tells #SASC hearing - "That capability's a deterrence weapon to respond the threat that #Russia in particular is portraying"
"The #Russia|n doctrine will be to use a low-yield nuclear weapon on the battlefield in case of a conventional over-match with an adversary" per Gen Hyten, citing Vladimir Putin's own words
"Our defense is deterrent capability" per @US_Stratcom's Gen Hyten, when asked about threat from #Russia#China#hypersonic missiles "We don't have any defense that could deny the deployment of such a weapon against us"
#Europe "an increasingly complex & competitive security environment," SACEUR/@US_EUCOM Commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti tells #SASC in opening statement
"Our adaptation to the environment has made significant progress...particularly under the European Deterrence Initiative" per Gen Scaparrotti, calling it "the largest reinforcement of Euro-Atlantic Defense in a generation"
Gen Scaparrotti also says @NATO alliance "is strong" and that "European allies & #Canada have turned a corner on defense spending with increases in each of the past 3 years" adding $46 billion to defense spending