With President Trump continuing to claim the Russia scandal is a “hoax,” this question deserves more attention: What will Trump and Republicans do about the likelihood that Russia will attempt to undermine our elections again next time? Democrats are now taking new steps to increase the pressure on Republicans to take this prospect a lot more seriously. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which oversees House races, has issued a formal request to its Republican counterpart, asking it to join in showing a “united front” and creating a “joint plan” against any Russian efforts to undermine the 2018 elections, I’ve learned.
DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján (N.M.) has sent a letter to Rep. Steve Stivers (Ohio), the chair of the NRCC, asking him to work with Democrats in a unified effort to guard against Russian efforts to undermine next year’s congressional races. In the letter, Democrats ask Republicans to pledge not to use any information obtained via Russian hacking against Democratic candidates, and to create a joint plan in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to guard against Russian interference. The letter was passed on to me by a Democratic source.
Democrats are also taking a range of new steps themselves to guard against the likelihood of Russian sabotage efforts, I’m told. The intelligence community has repeatedly warned that Russia may try to strike again to undermine future elections, and state officials have also sounded the alarm, warning that the Trump administration is not adequately preparing for such attacks.