After being so successful in 2016 why would the Russians not do it again?
Courtesy of WaPo:
A bipartisan panel of U.S. senators Tuesday called for sweeping action by Congress, the White House and Silicon Valley to ensure social media sites aren’t used to interfere in the coming presidential election, delivering a sobering assessment about the weaknesses that Russian operatives exploited in the 2016 campaign.
The Senate Intelligence Committee, a Republican-led panel that has been investigating foreign electoral interference for more than two and a half years, said in blunt language that Russians worked to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton while bolstering Republican Donald Trump — and made clear that fresh rounds of interference are likely ahead of the 2020 vote.
“Russia is waging an information warfare campaign against the U.S. that didn’t start and didn’t end with the 2016 election,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the committee’s chairman. “Their goal is broader: to sow societal discord and erode public confidence in the machinery of government. By flooding social media with false reports, conspiracy theories, and trolls, and by exploiting existing divisions, Russia is trying to breed distrust of our democratic institutions and our fellow Americans.”
Though the 85-page report itself had extensive redactions, in the visible sections lawmakers urged their peers in Congress to act, including through the potential adoption of new regulations that would make who bought an ad more transparent. The report also called on the White House and the executive branch to adopt a more forceful, public role, warning Americans about the ways in which dangerous misinformation can spread while creating new teams within the U.S. government to monitor for threats and share intelligence with industry.
While I commend these Senators for trying to get the whole country working together to protect ourselves from Russian interference, they are wasting their time trying to draft the White House into joining the fight.
Keep in mind that along with Trump’s atttempt to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, was also a request for them to undermine the findings of US intelligence agencies that determined Russia was the culprit behind the 2016 interference.
Not only has Trump never accepted that Russia interfered in the election, but he and his cohorts, like Mitch McConnell, Devin Nunes, and Rudy Giluliani, are actively trying to remove obstacles that would keep them from doing the same thing in 2020.
It will be interesting to see how McConnell and the Senate Republicans respond to this call to action.