McConnell: Senate will hold election security briefing

McConnell: Senate will hold election security briefing
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Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — House Dems charge Trump with abuse, obstruction of Congress in impeachment articles Senate must take up Voting Rights Advancement Act without delay Krystal Ball: Is this how Bernie Sanders will break the establishment? 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 MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by 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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerKrystal Ball: Is this how Bernie Sanders will break the establishment? TikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings, inflaming tensions Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments 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 BluntSenate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules Trump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Overnight Defense: Trump cancels presser, cuts short NATO trip | Viral video catches leaders appearing to gossip about Trump | Dem witnesses say Trump committed impeachable offenses | Trump reportedly mulling more troops in Middle East 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.