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February 08, 2018

Election Security Task Force Chairs Release Statement on Secretary Tillerson Comments on Russia Already Interfering in This Year’s Elections

(WASHINGTON) – Today, House Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Robert A. Brady (D-PA), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Task Force on Election Security, released the below joint statement in reaction to Secretary of State Tillerson’s comments on Russia already interfering in this year’s elections.

“Secretary Tillerson confirmed what Congressional Democrats have known since the ODNI released its report on election meddling: Russia is determined to interfere in our elections and disrupt our democratic processes.  His candid admission that we are no better prepared to stop them than we were in 2016 is a testament to President Trump’s failure to acknowledge that Russia interfered in our elections once and is determined to do so again.  His unwillingness to counter the threat should be appalling to all concerned Americans.”

“While Republicans in Congress have turned a blind eye, the Trump Administration seems to do Putin’s bidding.  Congressional Democrats, however, have spent the last year identifying vulnerabilities in our election systems and figuring out what we need to do to secure them.  Next week, the Congressional Task Force on Election Security, which we Chair, will be releasing its final report, recommendations and new legislation to give our elections systems a much needed update.”

“Congress fought hard to protect the integrity of elections against hanging chads 15 years ago, and certainly we should act to protect our elections from the Russian government today. It’s time for Republicans to wake up and join us in protecting our democracy from Putin.”

The Election Security Taskforce wrote the House Appropriations Committee last November stressing the need to appropriate the remaining $400 million already authorized for election infrastructure under the Help America Vote Act for states to use to help secure their elections systems.

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Media contacts:
(Thompson) Adam Comis at 202-225-9978
(Brady) Peter Whippy at 202-225-3072