Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has postponed a briefing for members of Congress on the security of U.S. voting systems so that it can be classified. The move comes after Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), pressed GOP leadership to make the briefing classified so that officials could go into sufficient detail about the scope of the threat and the Trump administration’s efforts to protect digital election systems from hackers. Sources told The Hill that the briefing, originally scheduled for Thursday evening, has been pushed back as a result of logistical issues that prevented it from being classified. GOP leadership is now working to reschedule the briefing.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats were originally scheduled to brief members on the Trump administration’s efforts to secure digital election infrastructure on Thursday at 5 p.m.
Ryan announced the briefing late Monday, amid widespread concerns about foreign threats to the midterm elections triggered by a Russian interference campaign in the 2016 vote that included cyber targeting of state election systems. The Speaker’s announcement came on the eve of primaries in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Idaho and Oregon.
The briefing was initially planned to be unclassified, but limited to members of Congress.