- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said Sunday it is the “height of irresponsibility” that Congress has failed to pass major legislation protecting U.S. election systems from foreign influence, citing special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings about Russian actions in 2016.

Mr. Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CBS’s Face the Nation that lawmakers need to do three things.

They must order up a trail of paper ballots, to ensure cyber-hacking doesn’t alter results — something President Trump recently said he supported.

Mr. Warner said there should be guardrails on social media, so foreign actors can’t make fake accounts and manipulate the debate in the U.S. And he said future campaigns should have an obligation to report offers of foreign assistance to the FBI.

Mr. Warner accused Senate GOP leaders of failing to free up floor time for such measures, despite Mr. Mueller’s warning that foreign actors will try to upend future campaigns.

As it stands, much of the debate has centered on the origins of the probe into Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign, after Mr. Mueller found no criminal conspiracy between the president’s team and Russian meddlers.

Attorney General William P. Barr has begun an inquiry, as Mr. Trump calls on him to “investigate the investigators.”

Mr. Warner said Mr. Barr can “have at it” in probing the origins of the investigation, saying facts will confirm the agencies acted appropriately.

“I saw absolutely no evidence that politics played any role,” Mr. Warner told CBS.

Mr. Warner said it is ironic that Mr. Trump has criticized the Obama administration for not doing more to thwart Russian intrusion, only to turn around and criticize the probe of reported contacts with the campaign.

The senator said it would have been irresponsible for the intelligence community not to step in and figure out what was going on.

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