- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 16, 2019

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise on Sunday said it’s important to take every feasible step to make sure Russia doesn’t interfere in the 2020 elections and that he’s glad the Trump administration is taking “aggressive” actions to do so.

“Look, you’ve got to take every step possible, first of all, to make sure what happened in 2016, what Russians attempted to do to meddle with our elections when Barack Obama was president, doesn’t happen again in 2020 or any other election,” Mr. Scalise, Louisiana Republican, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Mr. Scalise had been asked about a New York Times report over the weekend that said the U.S. government is eyeing incursions into the Russian power grid as part of an offensive approach on cybersecurity.

“I’m glad that the administration has been taking aggressive actions including, if you saw in the executive order the president issued … over a year ago, allowing DOD to be more aggressive at making sure they can protect, not only our grid but go after anybody who’s going to try and mess with our election security,” he said.

The report also said officials were hesitant to brief the president about details over concern about his potential reaction.

Mr. Trump on Saturday pushed back on the report.

“This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country…..ALSO, NOT TRUE! Anything goes with our Corrupt News Media today,” he said on Twitter.

Mr. Scalise said the president and the White House have already pushed back against a number of elements in the story.

“But the bottom line is the president’s taking aggressive action against Russia,” he said. “I wish that would have happened in 2016 when they were trying to meddle with our elections, but I think the message is being sent right now.”

“If the Russians try to take some action against our elections or any other country, we are already ready to go after them,” he continued. “And it should have happened in 2016. I’m glad that the President’s being aggressive against any foreign country who’s going to try to meddle with our elections.”

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