Former homeland secretary says FBI delayed notification of cyber hack

WASHINGTON, June 21 (Reuters) - Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told a congressional panel on Wednesday that there was a delay between the time the FBI first made contact with the Democratic National Committee about Russia hacking its servers and the time he was notified at the Department of Homeland Security.

Johnson, who served under President Barack Obama, was testifying about alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Images from testimony on Russian meddling in the 2016 election:

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Senate Judiciary subcommittee hears testimony on Russian meddling in the 2016 election
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Senate Judiciary subcommittee hears testimony on Russian meddling in the 2016 election
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 8: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) holds up a copy of 'The Kremlin Playbook' as Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) listens at a hearing of the Senate Judicary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Before being fired by U.S. President Donald Trump, Yates testified that she had warned the White House about contacts between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russia that might make him vulnerable to blackmail. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 8: Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates leaves a hearing of the Senate Judicary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Before being fired by U.S. President Donald Trump, Yates testified that she had warned the White House about contacts between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russia that might make him vulnerable to blackmail. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (L) shakes hands with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (R) at the conclusion of a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism hearing about Russian intereference in the 2016 election in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Before being fired by U.S. President Donald Trump, Yates had warned the White House about contacts between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russia that might make him vulnerable to blackmail. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 8: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (L) and former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates leave a hearing of the Senate Judicary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Before being fired by U.S. President Donald Trump, Yates testified that she had warned the White House about contacts between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russia that might make him vulnerable to blackmail. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (L) and former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates shake hands after testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Before being fired by U.S. President Donald Trump, Yates had warned the White House about contacts between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russia that might make him vulnerable to blackmail. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 8: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (L) and former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates testify before the Senate Judicary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Before being fired by U.S. President Donald Trump, Yates testified that she had warned the White House about contacts between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russia that might make him vulnerable to blackmail. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 8: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (L) and former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates testify before the Senate Judicary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Before being fired by U.S. President Donald Trump, Yates testified that she had warned the White House about contacts between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russia that might make him vulnerable to blackmail. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 8: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (L) and former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates testify before the Senate Judicary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Before being fired by U.S. President Donald Trump, Yates testified that she had warned the White House about contacts between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russia that might make him vulnerable to blackmail. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, listens during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism hearing with former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, May 8, 2017. Yates is expected to be questioned about how blunt a warning she gave the incoming administration that Lieutenant General Flynn had provided a misleading account of a telephone conversation with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. during Trump's transition to the White House. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (L) and former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates are sworn in before testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Before being fired by U.S. President Donald Trump, Yates had warned the White House about contacts between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russia that might make him vulnerable to blackmail. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - MAY 8: (From L to R) Senator John Cornyn, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse before the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Elections and former Trump advisor Ret. General Michael Flynn in Washington, United States on May 8, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - MAY 8: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse questions former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Elections and former Trump advisor Ret. General Michael Flynn in Washington, United States on May 8, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, makes an opening statement during a hearing with former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, May 8, 2017. Yates is expected to be questioned about how blunt a warning she gave the incoming administration that Lieutenant General Flynn had provided a misleading account of a telephone conversation with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. during Trump's transition to the White House. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: The Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism ranking member Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) delivers opening remarks during a hearing about Russian interference in the 2016 election in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Before being fired by U.S. President Donald Trump, Yates testified that she had warned the White House about contacts between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russia that might make him vulnerable to blackmail. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Before being fired by U.S. President Donald Trump, former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates said she had warned the White House about contacts between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russia that might make him vulnerable to blackmail. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (L) and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates arrive to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on ?Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election? on Capitol Hill in Washington, U .S., May 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
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The Department of Homeland Security issued warnings about hacking into voter registration databases, but Johnson said the notices did not get the attention he would have liked.

Johnson blamed the emergence of a 2005 tape, in which Donald Trump brags about sexually assaulting women, for distracting the American public at the time of the warnings.

Asked why the Obama administration did not do more to warn the public about the hacking, Johnson said, "We were very concerned that we would not be perceived as taking sides in the election, injecting ourselves into a very heated campaign." (Reporting by Julia Edwards Ainsley; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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