House Homeland Security chairman: 'This is election interference'

House Homeland Security chairman: 'This is election interference'
© Greg Nash

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonJudge temporarily halts construction of a private border wall in Texas Hillicon Valley: FCC moves against Huawei, ZTE | Dem groups ask Google to reconsider ads policy | Bill introduced to increase data access during probes House GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues MORE (D-Miss.) said the allegations in the whistleblower complaint describe "election interference" in a statement released Thursday.

“The declassified whistleblower report is clear. The President again, just as he did in 2016, sought out assistance from a foreign power to help in his reelection. This is election interference, plain and simple," he said. 

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Thompson called for increased election security, saying that Trump has "undermined" U.S. elections.

"The President has continually and persistently undermined the integrity of our elections and our democracy," he said. "With President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE in office, the American people cannot currently expect our elections to be secure and free from foreign interference with status quo measures in place.”

The complaint, released Thursday, accuses Trump of trying to convince Ukraine to launch a corruption investigation against former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa MORE, who is a front-runner in the 2020 Democratic presidential race. 

The declassified version of the complaint said that "multiple White House officials with direct knowledge" described to the whistleblower a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

They allegedly told the whistleblower that "the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests. Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid." 

Trump has decried the complaint as "Another Fake News Story!" He has denied wrongdoing in his call with Zelensky.