News Wrap: Russia denies trying to hack U.S. voting equipment


JUDY WOODRUFF: Russia is denying that it tried to hack U.S. voting computer software and equipment before last year's presidential election. The online magazine The Intercept reported the allegation, based on a National Security Agency document.

A Kremlin spokesman dismissed it today, saying — quote — "This assertion has absolutely nothing to do with reality."

In Washington, the U.S. secretary of homeland security, John Kelly, was asked about it at a Senate hearing.

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL, D-Mo.: Are you deferring the investigation of this to the FBI, or is the department actually actively engaged in investigating the penetration or attempts to penetrate the voter files in this country immediately before the election by the Russian government?

JOHN KELLY, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary: I share your concern. I don't disagree with anything you said relative to the sanctity of our voting process. Clearly, it's an interagency — it should be an interagency investigation. And that is taking place. DHS will be part of that.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Virginia's Mark Warner, told USA Today that the Russian cyber-attacks were even more extensive. But he said he doesn't think that actual votes were changed.

And Reality Winner, the Georgia woman charged, apparently, with leaking the NSA report, remained in jail. Her mother called her a patriot.

President Trump today waded into the political conflict over the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar, where the U.S. has 10,000 troops. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE all broke ties with the kingdom on Monday and accused it of supporting terror groups and Iran. Jordan scaled back ties today.

Today, Mr. Trump appeared to endorse the move in a tweet that said: "Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism."

This in contrast to yesterday, when the White House said the president wanted to work with all the parties to de-escalate the situation.

British police have identified the third suspect in Saturday's deadly knife and van attack in London. He was 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba, an Italian national of Moroccan descent. All three attackers were shot dead by police.

Also today, hundreds across the country gathered for a minute of silence to remember those who died or were wounded.

Meanwhile, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, brushed off criticism from President Trump. The president has written a series of tweets ridiculing the mayor since Saturday's attack. But, today, Khan said he's much more concerned about the invitation extended last year to Mr. Trump to come to Great Britain.

SADIQ KHAN, Mayor of London: I really couldn't be bothered about what Donald Trump tweets. I'm not — I don't how to tell you this, but I really don't care.

What's the important issue is that, you know, Prime Minister Theresa May offered Donald Trump a state visit moments after he was elected president. I said at the time, I don't think a state visit was appropriate, and my views haven't changed.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The White House didn't respond directly to Khan. Instead, a spokesman said the president appreciates the queen's invitation.

In France, a man swinging a hammer attacked police outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris today. He allegedly shouted "This is for Syria" and struck one officer before being shot and wounded. Dozens of police took over the scene, and blocked at least 600 people from leaving the cathedral. They were slowly being released later in the evening.

There's word that ride-sharing giant Uber has fired 20 people after an internal investigation into sexual harassment and other complaints. Various news outlets report that the moves were announced today at a staff meeting in San Francisco. A law firm investigated more than 200 allegations of sexual harassment going back to 2012.

And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 47 points to close at 21136. The Nasdaq fell 20, and the S&P 500 dropped six.

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