Today, the advocacy organization NDN is formally calling on the Trump Administration to release its plans for preventing another Russia style attack on our electoral systems in the 2018 election cycle.
Russia’s interference in our elections in 2016 was among the most serious attacks on the homeland of the United States in recent decades, perhaps in all of American history. The success of the operation will certainly encourage Russia, and perhaps other foreign actors, to try again. Foreign actors will be further encouraged if the American President and his Administration continue to discount the threat, and are not doing all that is required to keep America and its electoral system safe. To deter such activity, and to hopefully to prevent its reoccurrence, the Administration must take steps in the coming days to assure the American people they have a plan and are acting upon it.
This is not some far off issue. Special elections for the House of Representatives have begun this month, and there are primary and general elections in several states in 2017 that are already underway. Systems for monitoring foreign activity and creating real time communication with the DNC, RNC and possibly affected campaigns should have already been put in place by the Trump Administration. It is time for the President to act.
Congressional leaders of both parties should be demanding a clear plan from the Administration. The Chairs of the DNC and RNC should work together this time to create systems for monitoring and sharing information. And this time, the Republican Party should commit to the American people that it will not knowingly use stolen materials and disinformation spread by a foreign power to influence an American election, as it did in 2016. This is not a partisan issue, but an American one, and it is time for the Trump Administration to lead an ambitious, bi-partisan, well-staffed and well-funded effort to prevent foreign interference in our elections.
We hope others will join our call, and encourage the Administration to act without delay.
US News and World Report has published Simon's sixth column, "Trouble Ahead," in his weekly Op-Ed series that will every Thursday or Friday through the end of the year.
Be sure to also read his recent column, "The West Is On the Ballot," in which Simon argues that Trump isn't running just against Clinton, he's also running against what America has become and the world it has built.
An Excerpt from "Trouble Ahead"
Democrats just spent an entire election cycle worrying that a lingering scandal could at any moment do significant, crippling damage to their presidential candidate. And in the end, we were right to be worried.
As someone who just went through this on the Democratic side, I have a message for my buoyant Republicans friends: You have far more to be worried about with President-elect Donald Trump than we ever did with Hillary Clinton. Consider that in just the few weeks since the election, Trump payed $25 million in a legal settlement to thousands of Americans whom he scammed and ripped off; he admitted to illegally using his foundation, which is subsidized by American taxpayers, for personal gain; he appeared to use discussions with foreign leaders to advance his business interests (here and here); and his newly-opened luxury hotel in Washington has rapidly become a potent symbol of the unprecedented legal and ethical challenges the president-elect's global business interests will present.
I'm pretty sure we've ever seen anything like this in modern American history.
But this is just the beginning, and there is certainly more to come. It is my take that there are at least four potential game-changing set of scandals that could alter the course of the Trump Presidency.
To continue reading, please refer to the US News link. You can Simon's previous US News columns here.