Democrats exit briefing saying they fear elections under foreign threat

Source: The Hill | July 31, 2020 | Mike Lillis

House Democrats are warning that the integrity of November’s elections are under significant threat from foreign actors — and the Trump administration, they say, is going out of its way to conceal the danger from the public.

Emerging from a long, classified briefing with top administration officials in the Capitol, a host of Democrats said they now have less confidence that the elections will be secure from outside influence than they did going into the meeting.

“I don’t feel comfortable about what’s going on,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.). “Very disturbing.”

“Horrible briefing,” said Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.).

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), along with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the Democratic leaders of the congressional intelligence committees, had requested the briefing in a July 13 letter to the FBI, citing “a concerted foreign interference campaign” targeting Congress.

That campaign, they wrote, “seeks to launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity, public debate, and the presidential election in November.” They did not offer specifics.

More recently, the same four Democrats had pressed the administration to issue a public statement informing voters of the election interference threat heading into the polls in November.

Leaving Friday’s briefing in the basement of the Capitol Visitors Center, a frustrated Pelosi made clear that that request has gone ignored, suggesting the administration is shrouding the details of the interference campaign for political reasons.

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