Pelosi presses Ryan for classified briefing on election security

Pelosi presses Ryan for classified briefing on election security
© Greg Nash
House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi mocks McCarthy for tweet complaining of censorship Democrats should trade in identity politics for more inclusive policies Three scenarios for how leadership races could play out in the House MORE (D-Calif.) is pressing Republican leaders for a classified briefing on efforts to strengthen the country’s election security ahead of the midterms later this year.
 
 
“Only a classified briefing would address the seriousness of the attack on our democracy,” she wrote.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Lawmakers have sought to raise the alarm on election security after multiple U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election with the aim of tipping the presidential race away from Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonArizona GOP Senate candidate defends bus tour with far-right activist Santorum: Mueller could avoid charges of McCarthyism by investigating DOJ, FBI Giuliani claims McGahn was a 'strong witness' for Trump MORE.
 
Officials have said that Russian hackers targeted digital systems involved in the election process in 21 states as part of a broader effort to interfere in the 2016 elections. While officials maintain that hackers mostly probed for vulnerabilities, they have said that in a small number of states, like Illinois, actors were able to break in — though officials insist there is no evidence any vote totals were changed. 
 
Thursday’s briefing is designed to update lawmakers on steps the Trump administration is taking to prevent similar attempts to meddle in the November midterms. Providing that update will be Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTo solve the southern border crisis, look past the border Cybersecurity: Cause for optimism, need for continued vigilance The Hill's Morning Report — Dems split on key issues but united against Trump MORE, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
 
Democrats, who have urged such a briefing for months, have pushed back on the unclassified nature of the meeting.
 
Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonClyburn: I'll run for Speaker if Pelosi doesn't have enough votes to win TSA needs to answer important questions on 'Quiet Skies' program Dems demand Trump admin officials testify on election security MORE (Miss.), the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, argued the unclassified setting won’t allow the intelligence officials “to go into the detail necessary to properly educate members of Congress on The Trump Administration's efforts — or lack thereof — to secure our election systems from foreign interference."
 
Lawmakers are accustomed to huddling in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center to receive classified updates on issues as varied as Russian hacking and U.S. military invention in Syria.
 
 
“I urge you to make this important briefing classified to honor Members’ need to know, to recognize the prospect of further damage to our democratic system and to fulfill our responsibilities to our nation,” Pelosi wrote to Ryan on Tuesday.
 
“We are in the midst of an election season, and there is no time to waste.” 
 
Ryan’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday