Top Senate Dem: Trump administration's lack of focus on election security an 'embarrassment'

Top Senate Dem: Trump administration's lack of focus on election security an 'embarrassment'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDems can use subpoena power to reclaim the mantle of populism Is there a difference between good and bad online election targeting? Collusion judgment looms for key Senate panel MORE (D-Va.) blasted the Trump administration on Sunday, saying it has not made election security a top priority ahead of November's midterms.

Warner said on CNN's "State of the Union" that election security would be a priority "in a normal administration," adding that it is an "embarrassment" that it is not a top concern of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing MORE's.

"I am not sure we are fully prepared," Warner said.

Warner's comments come days after the Justice Department's announcement that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE had indicted 12 Russians in the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).


Mueller charged 11 of the intelligence officers — all members of Russia’s military intelligence agency the GRU — with conspiring to infiltrate the DNC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee networks. The 12th officer is charged with conspiring to hack into systems used to administer elections.

The intelligence community determined that the Russians' efforts were aimed at undercutting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMueller's team asking Manafort about Roger Stone: report O'Rourke targets Cruz with several attack ads a day after debate GOP pollster says polls didn't pick up on movement in week before 2016 election MORE's campaign in order to help elect then-candidate Trump to the presidency. The Senate Intelligence Committee concluded earlier this month it saw no reason to dispute those findings. Warner is the top Democrat on that committee.

Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday for a sit-down in which Trump said he may address the extradition of the 12 Russian officers.

Trump has also said he would press Putin on Russian interference in the 2016 election, but said there is little he can do to stop future meddling.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTucker Carlson says he 'can't really' dine out anymore because people keep yelling at him Top Judiciary Dems call for unredacted 'zero tolerance' memo The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem path to a Senate majority narrows MORE said Saturday that her agency has not seen the same levels of Russian interference targeting U.S. midterm elections as was reported in 2016.

But Nielsen cautioned that some level of Russian interference is still present and urged state officials to remain vigilant as some officials have noticed “persistent Russian efforts using social media, sympathetic spokespeople and other fronts to sow discord and divisiveness amongst the American people, though not necessarily focused on specific politicians or political campaigns," according to Time.