Clyburn on Russian election meddling: ‘There is something going wrong’
Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.), the No. 3 Democrat in the House, expressed alarm on at recent reports that Russia is trying to meddle in the 2020 election.
Clyburn, the House majority whip, told Greta Van Susteren on her show “Full Court Press” in an interview set to air Sunday that he’s had concerns about interference from Moscow since before the 2016 election.
U.S. intelligence agencies, the Senate Intelligence Committee and information reported by former special counsel Robert Mueller found that Russia unleashed a complex disinformation campaign on social media and attempted to hack U.S. election databases in 2016.
“I have been very concerned about that, and I have been for a long, long time,” he said on”Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren.” “I always believed that the Russians have been at this for a long time.”
Clyburn underscored South Carolina’s 2010 Senate race in which Democrat Alvin Michael Greene bested the party’s chosen candidate in a primary and was ultimately trounced in the general election.
“Something went wrong in this primary. People dismissed it,” he said. “I say again, there is something going wrong not just in these presidentials, but there’s some things happening in these primaries all over the country.”
The remarks come after intelligence reports emerged that Russia is attempting to take efforts to boost the campaigns of President Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Sanders confirmed Friday he had been briefed on Moscow’s plans a month ago.
“We have the most productive, the most admired democracy in the world, and it is getting under a lot of countries’ skins, and they are doing whatever they can to disrupt, to sow discord, to do whatever they can to make it look as if democracy cannot work,” said Clyburn. “And for me as a descendant of slaves to sit here and say this democracy is worth preserving.”
Sanders has hammered Russian President Vladimir Putin since the news emerged, saying he is no friend of Moscow’s leader.
“I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president,” Sanders said in a statement Friday. “My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do.”
Trump has dismissed claims Russia is working to boost his reelection effort, calling the news a Democratic-led “misinformation campaign.”
“Another misinformation campaign is being launched by Democrats in Congress saying that Russia prefers me to any of the Do Nothing Democrat candidates who still have been unable to, after two weeks, count their votes in Iowa,” Trump said, referring to delayed results from the Iowa caucuses.