McConnell: Senate will hold election security briefing

McConnell: Senate will hold election security briefing
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Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democratic field narrows with Inslee exit McConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said that the Senate will have an election security briefing in the wake of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.  

"We intend to have a briefing on election security," McConnell told reporters during a weekly press conference while not responding to questions about whether the upper chamber will take up any election security legislation.

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McConnell's comments mark the first time that he has confirmed he will hold an all-members election security briefing since Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJewish Democratic congresswoman and veteran blasts Trump's 'disloyalty' comments Schumer says Trump encouraging anti-Semites Saagar Enjeti: Biden's latest blunder; Krystal Ball: Did Schumer blow our chance to beat McConnell? MORE (D-N.Y.) said from the Senate floor that he had received assurances from the Senate GOP leader that there would be a closed-door briefing with administration officials. 

"I have some positive news. I have spoken to the Republican leader about that request. He has assured me we will have a briefing," Schumer said from the Senate floor last week. 

But McConnell didn't mention the briefing last week, and Senate Rules Committee Chairman Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity GOP group targets McConnell over election security bills in new ad MORE (R-Mo.), who has oversight on the issue, told reporters on Thursday afternoon that he had heard nothing from McConnell about having a briefing. 

The closed-door briefing comes as senators have mounted a bipartisan push in the wake of Mueller's report to try to move election security legislation through the Senate but have run into high-profile opposition from McConnell and Blunt. 

Supporters argue that new legislation is needed to help bolster election infrastructure in the wake of Russia's actions and as lawmakers debate how to safeguard the 2020 White House and congressional elections.  

But Blunt said during a committee hearing earlier this month that "at this point, I don’t see any likelihood that those bills would get to the floor if we mark them up." 

When asked about possible legislation, McConnell didn't directly respond, instead suggesting that reporters had largely ignored stories about the lack of interference in the 2018 election.  

"I do think the missing story that very few of you have written about is the absence of problems in the 2018 election. I think the Trump administration did a much, much better job," McConnell told reporters.