Lawmakers: Russia hacked 2016 election, will hack 2020

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KXAN) — While there is still debate over parts of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, everyone agrees on one point — the Russians attacked the 2016 U.S. Election and they’re working on doing the same in 2020.

But Congress is employing a few measures to protect Americans from the effects of Russian propaganda and hacks against U.S. voting systems.

“The Russians absolutely tried to manipulate our elections,” said U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-23rd. He says now that the investigation is finished, it is Congress’ responsibility to protect votes from Russian influence.

Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett, D-35, said:

“[Congress must] explore throughly the damage that has been done and how it’s been done. And then look for the most effective steps to prevent it from happening again.”

Doggett says this begins by working closely with state governments and making sure they have the resources and secure technology in place for the next election. Last year, Congress sent $380 million in grants to states to help pay for some of these upgrades.

Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn says Congress also needs to send a message to foreign adversaries — stay out. Cornyn said:

“This is a serious matter. They are using the latest and greatest technology, things we didn’t know they were doing but now do know they are doing, and we need to make them pay a serious price for this involvement in our elections. We can’t let them be the deciding vote on the outcome of these elections from the presidential level down to the county courthouse.”

Republican Hurd added that while there was no collusion, the Russians absolutely tried to manipulate 2016 elections. “The Russians were trying to erode trust in our institutions. They wanted to erode trust between the people and — the American people and the intelligence community. They wanted to erode trust between the legislative branch and the executive branch.”

Hurd explained that the people who are responsible for protecting the vote are the states. According to Hurd, states should be ensuring they have the resources in order to have the latest technology with the right security precautions. 

Doggett added:

“I am very concerned that every Americans vote — regardless of their party —counts and is counted. And moving into 2020, we need to take more steps to ensure that our democracy is not impaired by Russian attacks, whether they are done to benefit someone like Trump, who was Putin’s friend, or to benefit a person of another party.”

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