Democrats are looking for someone who can take on Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election and win. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) recently announced that she was running and said “I know how to fight.” Now, she is showing people exactly how tough and smart she is.
Harris sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and she gave the country a view of just how good she is during the worldwide threats hearing. She cross-examined Donald Trump’s Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats. The former California attorney general asked whether the president has a “written strategy” to deal with social media disinformation campaigns
She was referring to the type that Russia imposed upon the U.S. during the 2016 presidential election, according to the DNI transcript.
Earlier in his opening remarks Coats explain his goals:
‘We assess that foreign actors will view the 2020 US elections as an opportunity to advance their interests. We expect them to refine their capabilities and add new tactics as they learn from each other’s experiences and efforts in previous elections.’
Then, Coats went on to other threats to the U.S.:
‘I will begin with remarks on what I would describe as the BIG 4 – China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran – all of which pose unique threats to the United States and our partners.’
Harris asked Coats if he had a “written strategy:”
“Do we have a written strategy for how we’re going to counter the influence operations that target social media in the United States?’
DNI Coats responded carefully mindful that Trump watches these hearings, too:
‘We are fully engaged in that issue. We have regular communication among the various sectors of the intelligence community. Much of that is shared both verbally and in written form.’
Harris worked to clarify Coats’ answer:
‘So there is a written strategy?’
Coats answered her as carefully as he could in order to keep his job and in it protect the public:
‘Not a written single strategy, but we’re always looking at how we can best address this. It’s a fluid situation.’
Harris came back with another attempt to nail down whether the intelligence community (IC) would indeed provide a “written strategy:”
‘Do you have any intention of having a written strategy that will be agreed to and understood by all members of the IC.’
Clearly, there was much that could not be discussed in an open meeting. Coats struggled to walk his narrow political tightrope. He repeated this was a “fluid situation” and said it was a “top priority.” Then, he blew it by apparently talking down to Harris, but this might have been a coded message to her:
‘It is something we are working on and we’ve seen very significant progress. When you go back and read the transcript of what we talked about before, you’ll understand that.’
These men and one woman who testified in the Intelligence Committee have objectively stepped up to protect Americans. In doing so, they were forced to disagree with Trump at times regarding North Korea, Iran, and Russia.
Harris asked Coats if there was any “worldwide threats hearing” advancement over the past year.
‘I have the transcript from February 13th of 2018, when you and I had this discussion at our last worldwide threats hearing. So can you tell us has there been any advancement on that point since February of 2018?’
Coats did his best to answer with integrity and not enrage POTUS:
‘I’ll be happy to get back to you with that.’
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.