Federal Bureau of Investigation director warns Chinese spies are embedded in American universities

FBI Chief Schools Kamala Harris on Presidential Privileges

FBI Chief: Trump Hasn't Specifically Directed Efforts to Stop Russian Meddling in Midterms

Asked about the Federal Bureau of Investigation director offering a different timeline, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House's personnel security office had not closed the case.

"I'm not sure how specific - I mean, the president has made it very clear we have an obligation from a foreign intelligence perspective to make sure we have a deep and thorough understanding of every threat, including threats from Russian Federation", said Pompeo.

The Daily Beast report further added Wray stated the FBI was investigating certain groups, supported by the Chinese government, which were responsible for conducting interactions between Chinese and US academics.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified that Chinese intelligence activities and technology acquisition are aspects of what he termed "the China threat". Although we all agree that we must do our very best to strengthen national security, doing so by ethnically profiling a whole community and by invoking "a whole-of-society" American response would not only damage the constitutional rights and rule of law that all Americans hold sacred, it could also be counterproductive and indeed damaging to the very efforts of strengthening our national security.

"The biggest issue of our time, in my view and, I think, in the view of most of the members of this committee and I would venture to guess, most of the members of this panel, is China and the risk they pose", Rubio said.

The intelligence agency heads attending the hearing also outlined how China's intelligence gathering serves its global ambitions.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said the assumption should be that elections in the United States and elsewhere will face Russian active measures.

Coats said, "There is no question that what you have just articulated is what's happening with China".

Several senators voiced concern about China's efforts to obtain United States technology through investments and the rise of two of its own giants, Huawei and ZTE, telecom companies with a growing worldwide footprint and close ties to China's ruling Communist Party.

"That's a pretty good bang for the buck", remarked Warner.

"It's our hope that on election security we can come forward with a set of recommendations very quickly because we have primaries coming up as early as March", Warner said.

Wray's warning comes only days after Cotton introduced a bill that would prohibit USA government agencies from contracting with Huawei or ZTE.

Wray said smartphones and other communication technology could be compromised "to gain positions of power inside our telecommunication networks that provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure".

Huawei, founded in 1987 by a former People's Liberation Army officer, has galloped to a global lead in telecommunications, nearly absent in the United States market but hugely popular in China, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. ZTE, once called the "poor man's Huawei", has become a giant in wireless and data telecommunications equipment.

"We're taking a lot of specific actions.not specifically directed by the President", said Wray.

Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R., N.C.) said Chinese telecommunications companies such as Huawei Technologies and ZTE maintain "extraordinary ties" to the Chinese government.

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