Senate Democrats dissatisfied with White House's election security efforts
© Anna Moneymaker

Senate Democrats urged the administration to take election security "more seriously" on Thursday, the same day the White House had five of its top security officials discuss their efforts ahead of November's midterms.

The Democratic senators said in a joint statement that national security advisor John Bolton sent them a letter that fails to address their concerns about Russian meddling. 

"We implore the administration to take this very real and imminent threat to our elections and our democracy more seriously," said Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSenate Democrats should stop playing politics on Kavanaugh Montana GOP Senate hopeful touts Trump's support in new ad Strong job growth drives home choice for voters this election MORE (D-N.Y.) and Democratic Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDems seize on Kavanaugh emails to question role in terrorism response Trump gives thumbs up to prison sentencing reform bill at pivotal meeting Overnight Defense: Officials make show of force on election security | Dems want probe into Air Force One tours | Pentagon believes Korean War remains 'consistent' with Americans MORE (Ill.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinArchivist rejects Democrats' demand for Kavanaugh documents Senate Judiciary announces Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing Latino legal group slams Kavanaugh MORE (Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHillicon Valley: FBI fires Strzok after anti-Trump tweets | Trump signs defense bill with cyber war policy | Google under scrutiny over location data | Sinclair's troubles may just be beginning | Tech to ease health data access | Netflix CFO to step down House Intel lawmakers introduce bipartisan election security bill Election Countdown: Takeaways from too-close-to-call Ohio special election | Trump endorsements cement power but come with risks | GOP leader's race now rated as 'toss-up' | Record numbers of women nominated | Latino candidates get prominent role in 2020 MORE (Minn.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenNew sanctions would hurt Russia — but hurt American industry more Dems ask Mnuchin to probe Russian investment in state election tech Tougher Russia sanctions face skepticism from Senate Republicans MORE (Md.). 
 
 
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But Democrats argue the letter doesn't respond to a slate of issues they raised in their initial July 27 letter to Bolton, including fully implementing Russia sanctions legislation and securing the extradition of the Russian nationals accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election. 

 
"Bolton’s response does not address any of this and failed to urge Republicans in the Senate to reconsider their position blocking critical funding requested by 21 states to bolster election security ahead of the midterms," the Democratic senators wrote. 
 
Bolton's letter comes as the administration's five top national security officials, including Bolton, made a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room as part of an effort to show the administration is confronting Russian efforts to interfere in the midterm elections.
 
The press conference comes amid growing alarm in Washington about Russia's attempts to meddle in the November congressional races. But the rhetoric appeared to do little to assuage Democrats. 
 
Van Hollen, in a separate statement, said Trump's team was confirming "what we've long known" and urged them to support his legislation with Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioFlorida questions Senate chairman over claim that Russians have ‘penetrated’ election systems A paid leave plan cannot make you choose between kids or retirement New sanctions would hurt Russia — but hurt American industry more MORE (R-Fla.) that would slap new penalties on Moscow if the director of national intelligence determines they meddled in future elections. 
 
Meanwhile, Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDustbin 2020: The best Dems who surely won’t get the nomination WikiLeaks says Senate panel requested Assange testimony for Russia probe Democrats find dead man’s signature on petition gathered by GOP volunteers MORE (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said in a tweet that he was "glad to see the White House finally do something about election security — even if it’s only a press conference. Now if only it was actually backed up by anything the President has said or done on Russia."