Intel Dem on Russia: 'We acted very late in the game'

Intel Dem on Russia: 'We acted very late in the game'

Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierSpeier endorses California Democrat in race to replace her War of words escalates in House GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE (D-Calif.), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that Democrats acted too late in response to Russia’s attempts to interfere in the United States presidential election by hacking Democratic political organizations.

“I think what we’ve learned from the testimony today is that we acted very late in the game,” Speier told CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” referencing testimony from former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

“Even when he offered all the tools that the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] had available, only 33 states took advantage of them,” Speier said.

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Speier also disputed Johnson's claim that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) denied assistance from the DHS, saying it reached out to a low-level staffer rather than the chairwoman at the time, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).

Johnson on Wednesday defended his reaction to Russia’s meddling attempts, saying the previous administration did not want to be seen as taking sides in the presidential election.

When asked by host Jake Tapper about what the United States government is doing to ensure that Russia does not interfere in future elections, Speier said she did not have “a good answer.” 

“Good question, and I think we don’t have a good answer,” Speier responded, called Russia’s actions an “act of war.”

The Democratic congresswoman noted that the various systems used throughout the United States, or what she called “decentralization,” can have both benefits and drawbacks.

“We have different systems being operated in different counties throughout the country, and I think at the very least we’ve got to come up with some standardization in terms of what is, in fact, the most competent and most hack-proof systems that exist,” she said.

“And then provide the kinds of tools that would be helpful to local jurisdictions.”