House Intel chair calls for ban on electronic voting systems

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Negotiators 'far apart' as talks yield little ahead of deadline MORE (R-Calif.) called for a ban on electronic voting systems in an interview that aired Thursday on Hill.TV's "Rising." 

"The one thing we've been warning about for many, many years on the Intelligence committee is about the electronic voting systems," Nunes told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton, who sat with the lawmaker on Wednesday.

"Those are really dangerous in my opinion, and should not be used. In California — at least in the counties that I represent — they do not use an electronic system," he continued. 

"I think anybody that does that, and that's communicating over the web, it's going to be a challenge. So you have to make sure that you limit that as much as possible, and we need a paper trail so that you can go back in case you have to do a manual recount," he said.

In February, a DHS cybersecurity officials said that Russia had “successfully penetrated” the voter rolls in a small number of states in 2016 and warned California and 21 other states that Russia attempted to breach their systems.

They said that the systems targeted were not involved in vote tallying.

The U.S. intelligence community said that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and has warned that the Kremlin will continue to attempt to interfere in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE, who has sent mixed signals on whether he believes the intelligence committee's assessment on election interference, said on Tuesday that he is "very concerned" that Russia will try to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections to aid Democrats.

"I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!" the president tweeted.

In the wide-ranging interview, Nunes also addressed reports that Trump is considering revoking former intelligence officials' security clearances.

Nunes said officials such as former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyRon Johnson signals some GOP senators concerned about his Obama-era probes Republicans set sights on FBI chief as Russia probe investigations ramp up The Hill's 12:30 Report - Speculation over Biden's running mate announcement MORE and former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Speculation over Biden's running mate announcement Trump slams former intelligence officials to explain 'reluctance to embrace' agencies Hillicon Valley: Democrats request counterintelligence briefing | New pressure for election funding | Republicans urge retaliation against Chinese hackers MORE have acted in a way that is “extremely dishonest,” but said the president should not pull their clearances.

The lawmaker also revealed that his committee is probing whether various informants in Russia received payments before there was an authorized investigation.

He also commented on redactions and omissions from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, saying they were more damning to the intelligence community than what has already been released.

— Julia Manchester