House committee leader questions Trump on efforts to secure elections

House committee leader questions Trump on efforts to secure elections
© Stefani Reynolds

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonSunday shows preview: CDC signs off on 'mix and match' vaccine boosters The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Manchin heatedly dismisses rumors of leaving Democratic Party Bannon eyed as key link between White House, Jan. 6 riot MORE (D-Miss.) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles Florida Democrat says vaccines, masks are key to small-business recovery DNC members grow frustrated over increasing White House influence MORE (D-Fla.) sent a letter to President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE this week questioning his administration's efforts to secure elections.

The letter was sent Wednesday in light of comments made by former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE while testifying in front of two House committees. Mueller said that the Russians will likely try to interfere in the 2020 U.S. elections, and are doing so “as we sit here.”

Thompson and Wasserman Schultz questioned Trump on his actions taken in regard to election security, in particular pointing out that he has not requested or received a briefing from federal officials about election security efforts. They also questioned why Trump has not designated a White House official to coordinate “interagency efforts” to secure elections against foreign interference.

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“It is your responsibility, as Commander in Chief, to address the threat of cyber-attacks, influence operations, disinformation campaigns, and other activities that undermine the security and integrity of U.S. democratic institutions,” Thompson and Wasserman Schultz wrote. “We implore you to treat this issue with seriousness and with the utmost sense of urgency and concern that it demands.”

The two demanded Trump both receive a briefing from senior officials on election security efforts and appoint an individual to coordinate government efforts on this topic. 

They added that “Congress must have the confidence that the administration is taking this ongoing threat seriously,” noting they had so far not seen any evidence the White House had much “interest” in securing elections.

A spokesperson for the White House did not respond to request for comment on the letter. 

Thompson’s counterpart on the committee, ranking member Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan GOP lawmakers worry vaccine mandate will impact defense supply chain Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — House lawmakers eye military pay raise next year MORE (R-Ala.), told The Hill in reaction to the letter that “If Democrats were serious about securing our elections, they would stop pushing partisan bills that will never become law and start working across the aisle.”

Rogers added, “All Americans need to be sure that voting equipment and systems are secure and their vote counts as they intended.”