Senate Democrats are enraged that President Donald Trump has taken little to no action to protect our elections from future attacks by Russia.
In a heated exchange during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Senator Claire McCaskill grilled National Security Agency Director and US Cyber Command Chief Admiral Mike Rogers on why the US isn't doing more to stop future Russian interference in American elections.
@mitchellreports @clairecmc @clairecmc is my Senator and I couldn’t be more proud! She’s a fighter!— Cindy Lear 👑 ❄️🌊🌊🌊 (@Cindy Lear 👑 ❄️🌊🌊🌊) 1519747206.0
McCaskill told Rogers that she was approached by a woman in a grocery store who asked her, "is Russia at war with our Democracy?" She then turned the question to Rogers. "What would you have told the woman in the grocery store?"
Breaking right now @clairecmc and other Senators in both parties asking outgoing NSA Director Adm Mike Rogers why n… https://t.co/recXcCEefo— Andrea Mitchell (@Andrea Mitchell) 1519746653.0
Rogers replied that while "war" is more of a legally-defined concept, "there should be no doubt we are in competition with these guys and they are trying to use every tool they have to gain an advantage, and some of that advantage they want to gain is by undermining our very institutions."
"I say yes," McCaskill fired back. "They came after our democracy. I can't imagine anything more essential to the United States of America than our democracy." But she didn't stop there.
NSA director Adm. Mike Rogers admits we're probably not doing enough to stop 2018 Russian election meddling. Sen. C… https://t.co/AEb8vxzM1R— Linda S (@Linda S) 1519791251.0
McCaskill asked Rogers if our intelligence operations are "strong enough" and "smart enough" to prevent future attacks. "We're taking steps but we're probably not doing enough," Rogers replied. "I want to know, why the hell not?" McCaskill answered furiously. "What's it going to take?"
McCaskill wasn't alone in her frustration. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) told Rogers, “essentially, we have not taken on the Russians yet." Reed then asked Rogers if Russia is “attempting to achieve a strategic objective to influence public opinion on elections?” Rogers responded, “yes sir I believe they are attempting to undermine our institutions.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren also weighed in, noting that "there's little price" Putin is paying for interfering in our elections, and that there is thus far nothing preventing him from continuing to meddle in future elections.
@mitchellreports @clairecmc @realDonaldTrump Russia is winning because this guy is scared of Putin, He can't implem… https://t.co/0vY2Xs3B22— j (@j) 1519747218.0
"What I see on the cybercommand side leads me to believe that if we don’t change the dynamic here that this is going to continue and 2016 won't be viewed as isolated,” Rogers replied. "This is something that will be sustained over time."
Despite continued inaction by Trump, US intelligence chiefs have all confirmed Russia's interference into the 2016 presidential election. Rogers also acknowledges he has not been given the authority to pursue actions against Russia by the President.
So what the hell is it going to take for Trump to act?