SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

Reality check: Need action on election security

CNN's John Avlon looks at how the Trump administration can take action on election security after intelligence officials warn that Russia is actively threatening future elections.

Posted: Aug 4, 2018 5:11 AM
Updated: Aug 4, 2018 5:18 AM

"Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs."

So said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, flanked by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, the national security adviser John Bolton and FBI Director Christopher Wray at the White House Thursday, warning that Russia is actively attacking our elections.

Now if only someone would tell President Donald Trump. Also missing in action: Congress and badly needed funding for election security.

Let's start with the President. We've all seen his odd, repeated reluctance to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin and his impulse to take Russia's word about election interference over our own intelligence agencies. Last month, Trump reluctantly said he accepted the intelligence community's conclusion on Russian meddling, though he added, "it could be other people also."

Thursday night, Trump again undercut his administration's carefully calibrated united front, dismissing the "Russian hoax" at a rally in Pennsylvania.

This disconnect is disturbing. And because tone comes from the top, it has muddied our nation's response to date.

Department of Homeland Security official Bob Kolasky, the assistant secretary for infrastructure protection, told The Daily Beast in March, "we have not seen any significant nefarious activity" ahead of the midterms. That statement now appears to be outdated.

We've seen the deep disconnect between the partisan House Intelligence Committee and the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee's reports of Russian involvement in our elections.

And earlier this week, we saw the Senate vote down a $250 million appropriation to fund state election security efforts. This vote was split along partisan lines with the exception of retiring Tennessee Republican -- and frequent Trump critic -- Bob Corker.

This despite the fact that the campaign of Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, was unsuccessfully targeted by Russians last year. As Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford told us on "New Day," "I would be shocked if there's a senator who hasn't been."

Election security is national security. It shouldn't be a partisan issue. But the President has been lagging rather than leading.

The former Trump White House official in charge of cybersecurity, Tom Bossert, recently told Yahoo News that he was concerned no one was "minding the store" when it came to cybersecurity in the White House.

Let's hope that the clear-eyed officials of the Trump administration, and not the Trump we saw at Thursday night's rally, rule the day. But that means moving beyond words -- it means letting special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation continue so we know the full extent of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

It means relentlessly combating the online disinformation campaigns that blur the lines between fact and fiction with confirmation bias, conspiracy theory clickbait.

And it means fully funding election security efforts across partisan lines and dramatically increasing sanctions on countries that interfere in our elections.

Our representatives should vote like our democracy depends on it. Because it does.

And that's your Reality Check.

Lafayette
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 34°
Kokomo
Clear
35° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 27°
Rensselaer
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 24°
Lafayette
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 34°
Danville
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 30°
Frankfort
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 28°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 28°
Monticello
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 26°
Monticello
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 26°
Logansport
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 25°
Nice, mild weather....more active by late next week.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 662213

Reported Deaths: 12595
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion907061645
Lake48425878
Allen35861636
Hamilton32099397
St. Joseph29996512
Elkhart25386415
Vanderburgh21247378
Tippecanoe20024201
Johnson16349360
Porter15975270
Hendricks15825300
Clark11965181
Madison11746318
Vigo11612229
Monroe10333161
Delaware9838179
LaPorte9772196
Howard9056197
Kosciusko8562110
Bartholomew7456147
Warrick7416151
Hancock7409131
Floyd7207169
Wayne6633191
Grant6427157
Morgan6092125
Boone609088
Dubois5910111
Dearborn547467
Cass544499
Marshall5425104
Henry542393
Noble509378
Jackson464767
Shelby460690
Lawrence4184112
Gibson401281
Harrison399864
Clinton395853
Montgomery387083
DeKalb385278
Knox357485
Miami357463
Whitley349436
Huntington344476
Steuben338355
Wabash331476
Putnam330559
Ripley327161
Adams323549
Jasper316143
White297352
Jefferson294973
Daviess285396
Fayette271956
Decatur270888
Greene261280
Posey260931
Wells258275
Scott250350
Clay241444
LaGrange240870
Randolph225576
Spencer217330
Jennings215244
Washington211227
Sullivan203439
Fountain201542
Starke188151
Owen182153
Fulton178237
Jay177828
Carroll176518
Perry173235
Orange171250
Rush164822
Vermillion160542
Franklin159435
Tipton146441
Parke139316
Pike127632
Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
Brown95039
Benton92013
Crawford90713
Martin80114
Warren75814
Switzerland7548
Union67110
Ohio53711
Unassigned0433

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events