FEATURED:

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 PelosiGOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Ex-lawmaker urges Americans to publicly confront officials Pelosi heckled by Miami Republicans, Proud Boys at campaign event 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 ClintonSanders thanks Iowa voters for giving momentum to progressive agenda Manchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia Arizona newspaper backs Democrat in dead heat Senate race 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 NielsenEx-lawmaker urges Americans to publicly confront officials Migrant caravan expands to 5000 DHS to 'closely monitor' caravan of migrants headed for US border 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 ThompsonHillicon Valley: Russia-linked hackers hit Eastern European companies | Twitter shares data on influence campaigns | Dems blast Trump over China interference claims | Saudi crisis tests Silicon Valley | Apple to let customers download their data Dems blast Trump for 'conflating' Chinese, Russian election interference claims Dems eye ambitious agenda if House flips 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