But Mr Coats, Mr Bolton, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the director of the National Security Agency Paul Nakasone, said Russian Federation was to blame, along with other foreign actors.
It inspired another national round of hand-wringing over malign Russia influence and intentions in the US, but the recent Helsinki summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin has actually boosted America's image in Mr. Putin's Russia.
Bolton denied that the White House had been inconsistent in its messages on the meddling, and said President Donald Trump has been determined to prevent Russian and other foreign influence in elections.
The threat of foreign influence in USA elections is pervasive and ongoing, top Trump administration officials said Thursday as they described a strategy they have developed to counter it.
The White House brought out five top intelligence and national security officials to answer questions on Thursday, demonstrating a united front on fighting Russian election meddling even as the President continues to cast doubt on the issue.
Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary responsible for protecting the country and its citizens, told a press briefing at the White House: "Our democracy is in the crosshairs".
Trump also increased US military spending in part to counter Russian aggression, according to Stewart.
We know that through the decades Russian Federation "has used propaganda to sow discord in America".
Daily protests outside the White House that began during President TrumpDonald John TrumpPro-Trump pastor: Trump is "the most pro-black" president I've ever seen Trump renews calls for interview with Mueller: report CNN's Acosta: Hannity is "injecting poison into the nation's political bloodstream" MORE's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki have reached their third week of nightly demonstrations. "I won't discuss the specifics, except to state that our forces are well-trained, ready and very capable", he said.
Mr Coats said the efforts were less robust so far than in 2016, and did not appear directed at a single party.
Wray said his agency is working with social media companies as part of their effort.
The relationship between Sessions and the president has been strained for more than a year, since the attorney general recused himself from investigations relating to the 2016 election because of Sessions' role on the Trump campaign.
'I do think progress is being made, ' Wray said.
Amid the criticism from both sides of the political aisle, Mr Trump's personal attorneys also sought to walk back the comment, insisting the president was not ordering Sessions to do anything.
This as the White House works hard to impress upon the press distinction between the Russian Federation election tamper probe and the Manafort trial. He assured, "We are looking at that also". Why didn't the government tell me he was under investigation.
She noted it's not "unreasonable" for election officials to ask for an ID.
Voting rights groups argue voter ID laws disproportionately target and disenfranchise minorities.