The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s top Democrat called for 21 states to release information related to the Russian hacking of their election systems Wednesday.
Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia expressed frustration that the information has not already been made public, arguing the stifling of information may leave U.S. election systems more vulnerable in the future.
“This week the Chairman (Republican Sen. Richard Burr) and I sent a letter to all relevant state election officials asking that this information be made public,” Warner said during an intelligence committee hearing.
“I do not see how Americans are made safer when they do not know which state elections systems Russia tried to hack,” Warner added.
Warner’s call for transparency comes days after a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official indicated Russian hackers targeted election systems in 21 states while testifying in front of the intelligence committee.
Director of the DHS’ Cyber Division Samuel Liles said during his June 21 testimony that by late September the intelligence community concluded that various factors “made it likely that cyber manipulation of the US election system designed to change the outcome of the US election would be detected.”
Liles described the Russian hackers as having “rattled the door knob” on the election systems of the 21 states but said they “made it through the door” in a small number of cases. Notably none of the targeted election systems were related to vote counting.
DHS officials present at the hearing would not reveal which states were targeted , prompting exasperation from Warner.
“I understand the notion of victimization, but I do not believe our country is made safer by holding this information back from the American public,” Warner said during the hearing.
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