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Cummings Commends President’s Order for Intelligence Report on Election Cyberattacks

Dec 9, 2016
Press Release

Cummings Commends President’s Order for Intelligence Report on Election Cyberattacks

 

Washington, DC (Dec. 9, 2016)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement in response to the announcement that President Obama has directed the intelligence community to conduct a review of the 2016 election  in light of reports of Russian interference:

“I strongly commend this critical step by the President to more fully assess Russia's interference in our elections.  Ideally, this report will inform our efforts here in Congress to conduct a robust, bipartisan investigation, allow all Members of Congress to receive additional intelligence on this issue, and hopefully result in the declassification of more information for the American people.”

On November 17, 2016, Cummings sent a letter to Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz requesting a bipartisan investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 election.  To date, however, Chaffetz has failed to respond.  

This week, Ranking Member Cummings and Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) introduced the Protecting Our Democracy Act to establish a bipartisan, independent  commission to examine attempts by the Russian government and others to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Ranking Member Cummings also joined Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and top Democrats on the Judiciary, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Armed Services, and Intelligence Committees in sending a letter to President Obama asking for Administration officials to brief all Members of Congress on Russian efforts to influence or interfere in the recent federal election. 

Bipartisan concerns have been raised over Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including by some Republicans:

 

Vice-President-elect Mike Pence

  • “I think there’s no question that the evidence continues to point in that direction, and we should follow it where it leads,” Pence, who is currently Indiana governor, said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “And there should be severe consequences to Russia or any sovereign nation that is compromising the privacy or the security of the United States of America.” Huffington Post 10/16/16

 

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX, Homeland Security Committee Chairman)

  • "They are not discriminating one party against the other," McCaul said, adding that the Russians "have hacked into both parties at the national level" and targeted "Republican political operatives. What they intend to do with that information, I don't know." NBC News 10/8/16
  • "Russia's recent hacks should be a wake-up call -- and a call to action. We cannot allow foreign governments to interfere in our democracy. When they do, we must respond forcefully, publicly and decisively." FCW 12/07/16

 

Sen. Bob Corker, (R-TN, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman)

  • "But do I personally think Russia's somewhere in the mix? Yes." Corker said he was "all for more fully understanding what happened" through hearings. CNN 11/16/16
  • “We have committee members that are interested and we certainly intend to pursue what if any interference took place,” Mr. Corker said. WSJ 10/8/16

 

Rep. William Hurd, (R-TX, IT Oversight Subcommittee Chairman)

  • “The DCCC spent $6 million trying to unseat me—but an attack on them is an attack on all of us, and we can’t let that stand. The intelligence community has been very clear that it was the Russians.” Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Public Service 12/6/16
  • “I’ve been calling for attribution for a long time. …This is a serious topic and an example of how the Russians are our adversary. There has to be consequences to this kind of behavior, and I think a good first step is kicking out the ambassador.” Politico 10/10/16

 

Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

  • “I would think as far as the public statement that the director of National Intelligence made about the Democratic National Committee, I think the evidence is strong that the Russians were involved there. As far as the other emails, for instance, John Podesta, it's not as clear, it's not as certain.  I mean some of the trademarks may have been there, but I don't think the intelligence community is as certain of that as they are on the Democratic National Committee.  I don't think there's any evidence at all that they interfered with the voting machines or anything like that…as far as the hacks, I do believe that the…intelligence community  is of pretty much one mind that Russia was involved, and that was behind that.” MSNBC 12/07/16

 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

  • “Trump should take a real tough tone with Russia, I think they’re one of the most destabilizing influences on the world stage. It’s pretty clear to me that Wikileaks was designed to hurt (Democratic presidential nominee Hillary) Clinton and it could be us tomorrow,” Graham said, referring to published emails stolen from her campaign chairman and posted on the site. “I’m going after Russia in every way you can go after Russia,” Graham said. Referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, he added, “I want Putin personally to pay a price.” CNN 12/8/16
  • Graham urged Republicans not get sidetracked by the fact that the hacks may have helped their party. His fellow GOP lawmakers shouldn't "let allegations against a foreign government interfering in our election process go unanswered because it may have been beneficial to our cause," he said. CNN 11/16/16
  • “Assuming for a moment that we do believe that the Russian government was controlling outside organizations that hacked into our election, they should be punished.  Putin should be punished.” Huffington Post 11/15/16

 

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

  • "As our intelligence agencies have said, these leaks are an effort by a foreign government to interfere with our electoral process, and I will not indulge it," Rubio said. "Further, I want to warn my fellow Republicans who may want to capitalize politically on these leaks: Today it is the Democrats. Tomorrow it could be us.” ABC News 10/19/16

 

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

  • “With the U.S. presidential transition underway, Vladimir Putin has said in recent days that he wants to improve relations with the United States.  We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies, and attempted to undermine America’s elections.” Huffington Post 11/15/16

 

Spokesperson for Speaker Paul Ryan

  • “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election,” said Brendan Buck, spokesman for Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, in an email. TIME 07/27/16
114th Congress