Twice-failed presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pushed for President Trump to focus on protecting the upcoming 2018 midterm elections from Russian interference Wednesday after U.S. Cyber Command Chief Admiral Mike Rogers warned that he has not been granted “additional authorities” to combat Russian election interference.
"I say this as a former Secretary of State and as an American: the Russians are still coming,” Clinton tweeted, urging Trump to take action.
I say this as a former Secretary of State and as an American: the Russians are still coming. Our intelligence professionals are imploring Trump to act. Will he continue to ignore & surrender, or protect our country?https://t.co/Z6uaSCgdF6— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 28, 2018
Rogers, a holdover from the Obama administration who is retiring in the spring, told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that little is being done to specifically combat Russian election interference.
“What I see on the Cyber Command 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,” he testified. “This is something that will be sustained over time.”
“In fairness, you can't say nothing has been done,” he added, “but my point would be that it hasn't been enough.”
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) asked if he’d been authorized by Trump or Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to do more to combat Russian interference and Rogers said he had not.
Rogers later clarified that he had taken steps to combat Russian attacks, but “I haven’t been granted any, you know, additional authorities, capacity and capability.”
During Tuesday’s White House press briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of Rogers that “nobody is denying him the authority.”
“The president is looking at all of the different causes and all of the different ways that we can prevent it,” Sanders said. “And as we find different ways that we can do that, we’re implementing them.”
“We’re focused on looking at a variety of different ways,” Sanders said, pointing out that the State Department announced $40 million in funding to support efforts against Russian and Chinese propaganda. She also said that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen met with state, local and federal officials “working on ways that we can best prevent things like this in the future.”
“Let's not forget that this happened under Obama," Sanders reminded reporters. "It didn’t happen under President Trump. If you want to blame somebody on past problems, then you need to look at the Obama administration.”