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McConnell: Senate will hold election security briefing

McConnell: Senate will hold election security briefing
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Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump at CPAC foments 2022 GOP primary wars Hawley gets boisterous ovation at CPAC for Electoral College objection   Why Congress must invoke the 14th Amendment now MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said that the Senate will have an election security briefing in the wake of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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 SchumerChuck SchumerHillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill Budowsky: Cruz goes to Cancun, AOC goes to Texas 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 BluntPartisan headwinds threaten Capitol riot commission Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Microsoft, FireEye push for breach reporting rules after SolarWinds hack 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.