One year after U.S. intelligence agencies detailed the scale and scope of Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 presidential elections, the United States still lacks “a coherent, comprehensive and coordinated approach” to countering potential future threats from the Kremlin or elsewhere, a new Democratic congressional report finds. President Donald Trump’s negligence in acknowledging and responding to the threat of continued Russian interference is among the biggest factors leaving the U.S. at risk, Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee assert in the report released Wednesday. The 200-page document lays out in detail how Russia, over two decades under President Vladimir Putin, developed, refined and executed tactics to undermine democratic institutions throughout Europe and, ultimately, the U.S.
The comprehensive study, based on various non-classified sources including feedback from many of America’s European allies, is the first from any congressional entity dealing with the 2016 elections. It comes two months before the first votes are cast in this year’s midterm elections that will decide control of Congress and state houses across the country. Its authors say it is the first government report that lays out the scale and the scope of the threat from Russia, and begins to address comprehensively how it can be deterred.
It was Jan. 6, 2017 when U.S. intelligence agencies issued its findings that Putin directed an influence campaign in the United States designed to undermine public faith in the democratic process, and that he demonstrated a clear preference for now-President Trump and sought to support his campaign by discrediting Hillary Clinton.