President Trump met with members of his administration, including leaders of the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, on Thursday to discuss election security, the White House said Friday. The meeting comes amid widespread concerns over the possibility of foreign interference in future elections, including this year’s midterms, following Russia’s hacking and disinformation effort against the 2016 vote. The Russian effort included the targeting of digital state election systems. Trump met Thursday with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray to discuss election security, “including enhanced protections against malign foreign influence,” the White House said in a statement early Friday.
The Department of Homeland Security has been working to provide sensitive threat information and vulnerability assessments to states that request them, as part of a broader effort to protect election infrastructure going forward.
“The President received an update about current Federal election security-related efforts, including information sharing and best practices like using paper ballots, issuing security clearances, and conducting security assessments,” the White House said in a statement early Friday.
“He also reiterated his guidance that election security is national security,” the White House said. “The Trump Administration will continue to provide the support necessary to the owners of election systems — State and local governments — to secure their election processes.”