IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Why is McConnell pushing Dems to shut up about election security?

As adversaries target US elections, Mitch McConnell wishes Democrats stopped talking so much about election security.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to the media in Washington, D.C., on March 22, 2020.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to the media in Washington, D.C., on March 22, 2020.Mary F. Calvert / Reuters File

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has heard Democrats repeatedly raise concerns about election security, and he's apparently tired of it. The Hill reported yesterday that the GOP leader actually accused Dems of helping our enemies by failing to acknowledge improvements to our election-security systems.

In a four-page letter to Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), McConnell wrote that Democrats are "sowing the kind of divisions" in U.S. society about the Democratic process that the leaders of Russia and China have aimed to do by expressing repeated concerns around the security of elections.

The Republican leader, who's up for re-election this year, pointed specifically to Democratic emphasis on Russia intervening on Donald Trump's behalf and U.S. Postal Service delays, among other things.

"This endless parade of partisan hysteria has furthered our adversaries' goals to a degree that Putin, Xi, and mullahs in Tehran can scarcely dream of achieving themselves," McConnell wrote.

Let me see if I have this straight.

Four years ago, McConnell was warned about unprecedented Russian attacks on our electoral system. He not only didn't care at the time, by some accounts, the Kentucky Republican fell asleep during the briefing.

In the years that followed, several senators have tried to pass new legislation -- including some bipartisan measures -- intended to help bolster the domestic system. McConnell rejected them.

Now, as Election Day 2020 draws closer, U.S. adversaries -- most notably, Russia -- are once again targeting our electoral system. We know this with some certainty because of reports from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and tech giants from the private sector.

Confronted with all of this, Mitch McConnell would prefer if Democrats just stopped talking about the issue of election security -- because the system isn't as bad as it once was.

For his part, Chuck Schumer responded last night that "President Trump and Senator McConnell spend a lot of time criticizing Democrats for calling attention to foreign interference in our elections. If they spent half as much time actually trying to stop that foreign interference, our country would be far better off."