In an interview on Fox News, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, stated:
“I don’t know that I would say we’re better prepared (than in 2016) because the Russians will adapt as well. The point is if it’s their intention to interfere, they’re going to find ways to do that. And we can take steps we can take, but this is something that, once they decide they’re going to do it, it’s very difficult to preempt it.”
Asked whether he thought Russia would interfere again, Tillerson said:
“I don’t know. I hope they don’t.”
We cannot plead ignorance about Russia’s interference in our last presidential election. Even the candidates knew it was occurring.
On a recent appearance on Meet The Press, Vermont Sen. and 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders informed host Chuck Todd a Sanders campaign media specialist in San Diego went so far as to warn Hillary Clinton’s campaign two months before the election that Russians were using Sanders’ Facebook pages to disseminate anti-Clinton propaganda, and exploit racial and political divides.
“At the end of my campaign, when it appeared that Clinton was going to win, and certainly, after she won the nomination, what the Russians were doing is flocking to Bernie Sanders Facebook sites, and they were saying to Bernie Sanders supporters, as they were, by the way, to Black Lives Matter supporters, people who are fighting for social justice, as they were saying to the Muslim community, if you voted for Sanders, you have to understand, Hillary Clinton is crazy, she’s a murderer, she is terrible, all kinds of horrible, horrible things about Hillary Clinton.”
Last week, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, HR McMaster, said Russian meddling in the 2016 election is “incontrovertible” and “beyond dispute.”
Former DHS secretary Jeh Johnson, said:
“2016 was a wake-up call and now it’s incumbent upon states and the Feds to do something about it before our democracy is attacked again.”
Weeks before ceding his post last January, Johnson declared the nation’s electoral systems part of the nation’s federally protected “critical infrastructure,” a designation the government ascribes to crucial resources susceptible to attack, like power grids.
Now Johnson is concerned states have done virtually nothing “to actually harden their cybersecurity.”
“I would say they have all taken it seriously.”
Facebook was not the only social media targeted, though.
50,000 automated Russian-linked accounts re-tweeted Trump 10 times more frequently than messages pertaining to Hillary Clinton.
Remember when Wikileaks exposed information gleaned from hacked Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails in the summer before the election?
Turns out, Russian bots were responsible for five percent of all #PodestaEmails tweets.
All told, from September to November 15, 2016, bots tweeted two million election-related messages, according to Twitter.
Former FBI Director James Comey warned Congress during his highly televised Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in June that Moscow is not through meddling with the American electorate:
“They’re coming after America. They will be back.”
Image credit: alphr.com