Florida’s Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio revealed a startling piece of information at a Thursday hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, of which he is a member.
The hearing was to publicly probe evidence related to Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. It was the first of its kind in the Senate; a public hearing on Russian election meddling took place in the House, hosted by the House Intelligence Community, a couple of weeks ago.
The House of Representatives’s effort to probe Russian interference in the 2016 election took a disturbing turn shortly after their hearing, with House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes avoiding the members of his own Committee to tip off the White House about potentially incriminating information. Nunes was slammed for doing that, and with the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the Russian election meddling concurrently grinding to an effective halt, all eyes were on the Senate Intelligence Committee last Thursday for any substance that they could add to the investigation.
Well, what Sen. Rubio revealed at that hearing is certainly substantive. He told those assembled that staffers of his have been unsuccessfully targeted by unidentified Russian hackers not once, but twice.
One of those attempts was literally the day before the Thursday Senate Intelligence Committee hearing took place. The other attempt was apparently in July of 2016, shortly after Rubio announced that he would be running for re-election to the Senate since his presidential bid was unsuccessful against Donald Trump.
Sen. Rubio told the Senate Intelligence Committee, as reported by The Independent:
‘In the first panel, one of the individuals who appeared before us mentioned me in connection with efforts in the 2016 presidential primary. In July of 2016, shortly after I announced that I would seek reelection to the United States Senate, former members of my presidential campaign team, who had access to the internal information of my presidential campaign, were targeted by IP addresses with an unknown location within Russia. That effort was unsuccessful.’
However, as mentioned, the Russians’ efforts against him didn’t end there. He was targeted yet again, this time literally the day before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing at which he was speaking.
As he continued:
‘I’d also inform the committee that within the last 24 hours, at 10:45am yesterday, a second attempt was made, again against former members of my presidential campaign team, who had access to our internal information, again targeted from an IP address from an unknown location in Russia, and that effort was also unsuccessful.’
What this indicates is simple, and yet horrifying.
See, the threat of Russian hacking influencing our electoral processes isn’t something that’s solely in the past. It’s not over; the threat is not resolved.
Rather, the threat of Russia working to steer our political processes continues to this day; it didn’t cease with Trump’s election to the White House. To the Russians, Trump is just a useful idiot. They pay no mind to political party and have no loyalty to anyone; their only goal is to advance their agenda.
Numerous lawmakers have pointed this out on a number of occasions, but Rubio’s revelation that he’s been repeatedly targeted by Russian hackers makes the issue all the more pressing.
Featured Image via Andrew Harrer/ Bloomberg via Getty Images.