The Senate Intelligence Committee issued a new report yesterday that Russia probably targeted the election systems in all 50 states in 2016, the federal government didn’t adequately warn the states, and the threat persists heading into the 2020 presidential, Senate, and Congressional campaigns.

The report states they started the meddling as early as 2014 and continued into 2017. U.S. officials believe the Russians probably scanned systems in every state, such as election-related web pages, voter ID information, election system software, and election service companies. Two years ago, the Department of Homeland Security disclosed that the Russian government, including their military, had hackers target 21 states during the 2016 campaign.

During Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony this week, he described how Russia’s meddling was not a “hoax,” that the Trump campaign welcomed their interference, and that Russia was “doing it as we sit here.” Republicans on the Congressional Judiciary and Intelligence committees scoffed and downplayed Russias interference and favoritism toward Donald Trump. Republicans and Trump are more concerned about “liberal” paper straws than Russians attacking us.

The Russians are doing it now “as we sit here” and they’re doing it to help reelect Donald Trump. Trump has spent his entire presidency kowtowing to Russia and Vladimir Putin. He invited Russians into the Oval Office where he gave them classified information that was obtained by a U.S. ally. He has refused to call out or blame Putin for the interference, which is an attack on our country which he took an oath to protect. He stood next to Putin in Helsinki and took his word over that of our National Intelligence. However, he did declare that our national security has been threatened by Canadian cheese.

On the same day the report was issued, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked two election security measures that would help keep our elections free and fair. McConnell argued that the bills would give Democrats a “political benefit.” He’s right in that free and fair elections, without Russian meddling, will help the Democratic Party because more Americans vote Democratic than Republican.

A House bill passed that requires the use of paper ballots and included funding for the Election Assistance Commission. It passed in the House with only one Republican vote. McConnell argued that it was partisan. Since when did protecting the United States of America, protecting our elections, and loyalty to our nation over Russia become partisan?

McConnell and Republicans have put more than party over country. They’ve put worship of a cult leader over their country, over our country.

Another bill blocked by McConnell would have made it a requirement for candidates, campaign officials, and their family members to notify the FBI of assistance offered by a foreign government. This sounds like a no-brainer but it would obviously handicap the Trump campaign as Trump has stated recently that he’d welcome foreign assistance in the next election. He didn’t even send it in code. He flat out said it.

We need leaders in the House, Senate, and White House who will protect the nation they swore to defend. We need leaders who don’t go swinging with Putin.

Creative note: I hate to explain this but if you don’t know what Sling TV is, then maybe this cartoon doesn’t work for you. It’s basically another internet service that offers premium cable channels and it can be used on smart TVs. There are commercials where people invited by a creepy couple for “slinging” confuse the term with “swinging.” Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, married in real life, play the creepy couple shouting at neighbors, “You wanna sling tonight?” “Hey, Bruce, bring your mom.” I think they’re hilarious.

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The Yucatan Times

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