Top Democrats Issue Statement on Trump and Pence Claims After DHS Provides Election Security Update

Oct 17, 2018
Press Release

October 17, 2018 (WASHINGTON) — Today, Reps. Bennie G. Thompson, Elijah E. Cummings, Jerrold Nadler, Adam Smith, and Robert A. Brady, the Ranking Members of the House Committees on Homeland Security, Oversight & Government Reform, the Judiciary, Armed Services, and House Administration, issued a statement after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provided Committee staff with an unclassified/FOUO intelligence assessment on election security issued by the DHS Cyber Mission Center on October 11, 2018.

During a nationally televised interview last week, President Trump claimed that Chinese meddling in U.S. elections “is a bigger problem” than Russia’s well-documented interference.  Similarly, Vice President Pence claimed that Russian election interference “pales in comparison” with Chinese activity, which he characterized as “an unprecedented effort to influence public opinion.”

After their staffs received the October 11 update from DHS, the Ranking Members issued the following statement:

“Our staff have now received an update from the Department of Homeland Security on the status of foreign attempts to target U.S. election infrastructure and influence the 2018 midterm elections.  Nothing we have learned through this update supports the President’s or Vice President’s recent claims or changes our view that their statements on this issue are driven by partisan politics rather than the facts.

“No amount of foreign interference in our elections is acceptable. However, conflating the interference by Russian and Chinese actors is irresponsible and demonstrates the White House’s partisan approach to the unprecedented Russian actions to undermine our democracy. It is reprehensible that two years after the 2016 elections, President Trump and Republicans in Congress have failed to tackle Russian election interference with any credibility.”

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115th Congress