Ex-Obama chief: Mitch McConnell hid Russian interference in 2016


Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had a clear hand in making it easier for Russia to interfere in our elections.

Republicans famously blocked President Obama's effort to confront possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign in 2016. But it turns out that none other than Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell actually helped enable Russian intrusions into our voting systems.

On "Meet the Press" Sunday morning, Obama White House chief of staff Denis McDonough revealed that McConnell badly undercut efforts to warn states about Russia's interference.

McDonough told Chuck Todd that President Obama "asked the four leaders, in a bipartisan meeting in the Oval Office, to join him in asking the states to work with us on this question."

"It took over three weeks to get that statement worked out," McDonough said, adding that the final letter to the states "was dramatically watered down."

"And it was watered down on the insistence of Mitch McConnell?" Todd asked.

"Yes," McDonough replied.

"And nobody else?" Todd asked.

"Yes," McDonough said.

The letter that the National Association of State Election Directors eventually received didn't mention Russia. And it even omitted the existence of specific threats to our election systems.

At that time, McConnell was also engaged in an unprecedented effort to steal a Supreme Court nomination from President Obama. And that was just one of the incentives McConnell and the Republicans had to abandon American national security.

One and a half years later, the Russians are preparing to attack again. And Trump is doing nothing about it. Nor will McConnell, if his past behavior is any indication.

But the Republican Party will soon hear from the voters about this refusal to protect our democracy.