FBI Director Christopher Wray calls China top U.S. threat

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray listens during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (SBG) - The heads of the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are now sounding the alarm, listing Russia and China as top threats this country faces.

In a hearing Wednesday before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray Top said Russia is still a major concern, but called China the broadest most complicated long-term counterintelligence threat to the United States.

"Russia is in many ways fighting to stay relevant after the fall of the Soviet Union. They're fighting today's fight, China is fighting tomorrow's fight, and the day after tomorrow and the day after that,” Wray said.

From China’s response to U.S. tariffs (strict ones of its own), to Chinese officials accused of trying to steal trade secrets to launching opinion campaigns ahead of the mid-term elections, Senators on the committee say their role is changing too.

“Without question our biggest threat is cyber security. We are under constant attack from actors around the globe,” said Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich.

“We think of a terrorist using a bomb or you think of a hot conflict where we’re actually in military confrontation but cyber is a huge issue now too. We’ve got to stay ahead of everybody,” said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.

After the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, the top homeland security priority for Congress and the Pentagon was fighting terrorism. But the FY2019 military spending bill makes clear Russia and China are now central threats which “want to shape the world consistent with their authoritarian model.”

“The overall threat from foreign adversaries is at its highest levels since the Cold War. This is not a fair fight, " said Kirstjen Nielsen, Homeland Security Secretary.

Fair or not, the United States is now forced to fight these new threats in an constantly changing landscape.

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