Comey reaffirms Russian interference in 2016 election
Former FBI Director James Comey reaffirmed that Russia interfered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, warning that the future of American democracy could be seriously undermined unless Republican and Democratic lawmakers work together to understand what happened and implement measures to prevent electoral meddling by foreign adversaries.
“There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever. The Russians interfered with our election during the 2016 cycle. They did it with purpose, they did it with sophistication, they did it with overwhelming technical efforts, and it was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government. There is no fuzz on that,” Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. “It’s not a close call. That happened. That’s about as un-fake as you can possibly get.”
Comey emphasized that the Russians will be back to try to manipulate the 2018 mid-term and 2020 presidential elections in the hopes of helping candidates that would serve Russia’s interests.
“The reason this is such a big deal is because we have this big, messy, wonderful country where we fight with each other all the time but nobody tells us what to think, what to fight about, what to vote for, except other Americans, and that’s wonderful and often painful. But we’re talking about a foreign government that using technical intrusion and lots of other methods tried to shape the way we think, we vote, we act. That is a big deal and people need to recognize it. It’s not about Republicans or Democrats; they’re coming after America, which I hope we all love equally,” Comey explained. “They want to undermine our credibility in the face of the world. They think that this great experiment of ours is a threat to them and so they’re going to try to run it down and dirty it up as much as possible. That’s what this is about and they will be back, because we remain, as difficult as we can be with each other, we remain that shining city on the hill and they don’t like it.”