The news that Russian spies had hacked into Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company central to debunked conspiracy theories from Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani about Ukrainian election interference, has rocketed 2020 election protection to the top of the intelligence community’s list of concerns. Likewise, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump Tuesday for refusing to “take meaningful action to strengthen our election security.”
McConnell, she said, is “giving hostile foreign powers the green light to attack our country” by refusing to take up House-passed legislation. “The President and every Republican Senator must explain to the American people why they are refusing to defend our national security and the integrity of our elections,” Pelosi added. “We only learned of this hacking through the press. Congress must be briefed on what the Administration knows about this attack and why the President doesn’t have a plan to protect our elections.”
Asked about it Tuesday, McConnell blew the question off. “We’ve appropriated $800 million over the last couple of years to deal with it,” he said, scoffing off the possibility of doing further. Then he actually said, “I do want to encourage the current administration on both the efforts in  and the off-year elections in , from which we have essentially no reports of any kind of success.” Yes, he’s congratulating the president that has been impeached because of his efforts to get a foreign country to influence the 2020 election. He concluded that “we need to keep our eye on the Russians or anybody else who’s trying to mess with our elections system, and we’re appropriating plenty of money to do just that.”
State and local governments that have to try to conduct safe elections in less than 11 months might not be so sanguine after reading today’s news.