Former Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson said he tried to warn the American people about Russian meddling in 2016, but the media failed to adequately report his statements.
Johnson testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday about Russian election interference in the 2016 election. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein accused Johnson of failing to sufficiently warn the American people about Russian efforts to subvert the election, arguing, “The American people were never told.”
Johnson asserted that he released a statement in October about Russian meddling, but the media was focused on the Access Hollywood tape that featured then-candidate Donald Trump talking about groping and pursuing women.
“On October 7th, 2016, the Director of National Intelligence and I issued a pretty blunt statement saying that the Russian government was interfering in our political process, directed by the highest levels of the Russian government,” he said. “That was a pretty blunt statement.”
“And frankly, it did not get the attention that I thought it should have received,” Johnson continued. “It was below the fold news the next day because of the release of the ‘Access Hollywood’ video, the same day, and a number of other events.”
Johnson added that he expected journalists to follow up with him about the statement, but never heard anything else because “everyone was focused on the campaign and that video and the debate that Sunday.”