Senate Democrats sound the alarm on ‘Russian interference’ in the midterms


Senate Democrats sound the alarm on ‘Russian interference’ in the midterms FIVE MONTHS before Americans head to the polls and with the party trailing in the polls and at risk of losing the House and Senate

  • Senior Democrats on Thursday warned of Russian midterm interference
  • 17 senators wrote to security chiefs urging them to be vigilant
  • They said the Russian war in Ukraine only made influence campaigns more likely
  • Some Republicans made a link to discredited claims of collusion with Russian 
  • Don Jr tweeted: ‘Here we go again folks’

Leading Senate Democrats on Thursday urged U.S. intelligence agencies to prepare for Russian disinformation campaigns as the nation prepares for midterm elections in November.

At stake is control of the House and the Senate, as the Democratic party tries to stave off expected losses.

Senior Trump allies quickly dismissed the warning as another attempt to tie Republicans to Russia or explain away defeat. 

But a grand jury has charged 12 Russian military intelligence officers with efforts to sway the 2016 presidential election against Hillary Clinton

And a group of 17 Senate Democrats led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee, and Sen. Jack Reed, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote to senior defense and intelligence officials setting out their concerns that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine only makes a disinformation campaign more likely.

‘As the Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to an increase in Russian disinformation and warnings of potential cyberattacks, we urge you to ensure that your agencies are prepared to quickly and effectively counter Russian influence campaigns targeting the 2022 elections…’ they write.

‘Experts have warned that the increase in Russian disinformation and cyber threats creates a security concern for U.S. elections and that Russia will likely view the 2022 elections as a “ripe target” for influence operations.’

President Vladimir Putin ordered a Russian campaign to swing the 2016 election in Donald Trump's favor, according to U.S. intelligence agencies. Now Senate Democrats are urging national security officials to be ready for any effort to sway the 2020 midterms

President Vladimir Putin ordered a Russian campaign to swing the 2016 election in Donald Trump’s favor, according to U.S. intelligence agencies. Now Senate Democrats are urging national security officials to be ready for any effort to sway the 2020 midterms

Sen Amy Klobuchar, chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee

Jack Reed, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee

Led by Senators Amy Klobuchar and Jack Reed, they warn that Russia’s destructive war in Ukraine only increases the chances of a Russian disinformation campaign

Some 17 Democratic senators wrote to key intelligence and security officials setting out their concerns about the danger of Russian interference in the midterms

Some 17 Democratic senators wrote to key intelligence and security officials setting out their concerns about the danger of Russian interference in the midterms

'As the Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to an increase in Russian disinformation and warnings of potential cyberattacks, we urge you to ensure that your agencies are prepared to quickly and effectively counter Russian influence campaigns targeting the 2022 elections…' they write in their letter to intelligence and security chiefs

‘As the Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to an increase in Russian disinformation and warnings of potential cyberattacks, we urge you to ensure that your agencies are prepared to quickly and effectively counter Russian influence campaigns targeting the 2022 elections…’ they write in their letter to intelligence and security chiefs

The letter was sent to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Christopher Wray, and Director of the National Security Agency and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command General Paul Nakasone. 

The Russian operation in 2016 included hacking into the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee servers, before leaking embarrassing emails, according to the indictments.

Hackers also tried to compromise state election systems, including voter registration databases, while troll farms spewed out fake news.  

An investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that Russia ran a massive campaign to try to tip the scales in Donald Trump’s favor and that it was carried out under the express orders of President Vladimir Putin.

But claims that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian effort were never substantiated and he and his allies have accused intelligence agencies and investigators of running a witch hunt.

Donald Trump Jr. was among the Trump allies to cry foul over the warning

Donald Trump Jr. was among the Trump allies to cry foul over the warning

On Thursday, his allies quickly cried foul at the fresh warning.

His son, Donald Trump Jr, said on Twitter: ‘Here we go again folks.’

Mike Shields, former chief of staff for the Republican National Committee, suggested interference was only a worry when Democrats lost.

‘2016 – rigged. 2020 – not rigged. how dare you say elections are rigged,’ he tweeted. ‘2022 – we’re going to lose. rigged.’

With President Joe Biden mired in crisis, and with his ratings well underwater, his party is expected to lose control of the House and possibly the Senate too. 

In their letter, the senators praised the way the administration had worked to reveal Russian covert actions and influence operations around its war in Ukraine.

And said they hoped for action to counter midterm interference. 

‘Our democracy has been a shining beacon for the world and as we continue to assist Ukraine and our European allies, we must also be vigilant in guarding against threats to our own system of government,’ they wrote.

‘With primaries underway for the 2022 midterm election cycle and ongoing preparations for the November general election, it is vital that the federal government does everything in its power to ensure the integrity of our elections against foreign threats.’

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