Despite the overwhelming evidence that proves otherwise, there are still quite a few people who refuse to believe that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Perhaps some of those nonbelievers will finally change their minds now that the man who was serving as Homeland Security Secretary during the election has spoken out about the situation.
On Wednesday, during his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson confirmed for those still on the fence that Russia really did interfere in the 2016 election. In his opening remarks, he said:
‘In 2016 the Russian government, at the direction of Vladimir Putin himself, orchestrated cyberattacks on our nation for the purpose of influencing our election — plain and simple. Now, the key question for the President and Congress is: What are we going to do to protect the American people and their democracy from this kind of thing in the future?’
In addition to emphasizing the reality of Russia’s intrusions, Johnson confirmed to Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) that, as far as he knows, no votes were altered or suppressed as a result of the interference.
‘Based on everything I know, that is correct. I know of no evidence that, through cyber-intrusions, votes were altered or suppressed in some way.’
The former Homeland Security secretary went on to defend the Obama administration’s decision not to publicly make a statement about Russia’s meddling until fall of last year. He also said that, when the statement was finally made, it was overshadowed by the audio that was released on the same day of Donald Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women.
Although he defended the Obama administration, Johnson was not shy about expressing his frustration with the Democratic National Committee for not accepting his department’s help in locating and rectifying its cyber-vulnerabilities. He said that he was “not pleased” that Homeland Security was “not in there helping them patch this vulnerability” and added that he wished he had “camped out with a sleeping bag” in front of the committee’s office in order to make them take the issue more seriously.
Johnson’s testimony is currently being streamed live and can be viewed below, via YouTube:
Featured Image is a screenshot from the video.