“Let’s Focus on Fighting Foreign Interference, Not Fighting Each Other”
‘This afternoon, all senators will have the opportunity to attend a briefing on election security from administration experts who tackle the issue every day. The FBI director, the acting Secretary of Homeland Security, General Nakasone of the NSA and Cybercommand, the Director of Counterintelligence at the DNI, and a number of other senior leaders will come here to the Capitol to discuss this critical subject.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding election security:
‘This afternoon, all senators will have the opportunity to attend a briefing on election security from administration experts who tackle the issue every day.
‘The FBI director, the acting Secretary of Homeland Security, General Nakasone of the NSA and Cybercommand, the Director of Counterintelligence at the DNI, and a number of other senior leaders will come here to the Capitol to discuss this critical subject.
‘I look forward to hearing more about the significant and strong steps the Trump administration has taken over the past three years to secure our democracy and punch back against the real and varied foreign efforts to interfere.
‘I look forward to hearing more about the “unprecedented level of coordination” that has connected nonpartisan federal experts with all 50 states, U.S. territories, thousands of local jurisdictions, and private-sector leaders to make sure the unpreparedness and inaction that defined the Obama administration’s failures in 2016 was not repeated in 2018, and will not be repeated in 2020 or beyond.
‘I look forward to hearing about how the record sums of money, hundreds of millions of dollars, that Congress has put aside for direct grants so state and local election officials can shore up their systems are making our democracy safer.
‘I expect I’ll have more to say following the briefing. I expect many of our colleagues will. But beforehand, I’d like to say this.
'The American people have confidence in our democracy, as they should. Just last month, a survey found that more than 70 percent of Americans are confident their state or local government will conduct a fair and accurate election this November. And they should be confident about the resilience of our institutions.
'Our nation is strong; the Trump administration has made huge strides; and after eight years of weakness, this administration’s foreign policy has made it clear to our adversaries that the United States of America will not be pushed around.
'But the American people also know we must remain vigilant. As long as Russia and other nations seek to meddle, we need to be ready.
'Election security is critically important for our nation. And it can only be handled right if it is handled with good faith and bipartisanship.
'When Washington Democrats use this topic as a platform for demonizing the other side, or for pushing tangential policy proposals which the left had sought many years before 2016, everyone can see right through it. It only signals unseriousness.
'So I encourage all my colleagues to attend the bipartisan briefing today. And then let’s preserve that bipartisan spirit and that unity. Let’s focus on fighting against foreign interference, not fighting each other.
'We should not just snap right back into tired, old partisanship.
'We should not let Putin or anyone else bait Americans into talking down our own democracy, or sowing more fear and discord among ourselves than our adversaries could ever hope to do themselves.'
Related Issues: Senate Democrats, National Security