National Security Adviser John Bolton wrote a letter in response to bipartisan criticism that this administration has no actual strategy to protect the legitimacy of the upcoming midterm elections, in which he claimed, “President Trump has not and will not tolerate interference in America’s system of representative government.” Bolton also said Trump is “leading unprecedented action to punish Russia” for its efforts to disrupt American elections, which probably came as a big surprise to most Americans.
Scrutiny rose to an all-time high following Donald Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin, in which he seemed to explicitly state that he trusted the word of the Russian President and not the entirety of the US Intelligence Community. After returning to Washington, claimed he “misspoke” during the press conference and “accepts” US intelligence reports which are in agreement that Moscow sought to influence the 2016 presidential election.
To drive Bolton’s point home, the White House held a briefing on the possibility of Russian interference. Homeland Security Chief Kirstjen Nielsen warned: “Our democracy is in the crosshairs.” Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said, “We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to try to weaken and divide the United States.”
Nielsen, FBI Director Christopher Wray and NSA director Paul Nakasone all gathered last week in New York City with experts for a cybersecurity summit. At the summit, they spoke of the urgent need for a collective, collaborative approach to security.
“The president has made it clear that his administration will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections from any nation-state or other dangerous actor,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.