Joe Biden’s boast just got worse.
The former vice president did himself no favors earlier this month when he bragged in an interview that Russian election meddling wouldn’t have happened under his or former President Barack Obama’s watch – when, of course, the 2016 presidential election took place while Obama was still president.
But according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report released Thursday, the documented Russian efforts go at least back to 2014 – halfway through Obama’s second term.
According to The Hill, the 67-page, heavily redacted report states that “the Russian government directed extensive activity, beginning in at least 2014 and carrying into at least 2017, against U.S. election infrastructure at the state and local level.”
Politico reported that the bipartisan committee found “no evidence” that electronic attacks changed any votes or got into voting machines themselves, but the operations “exploited the seams between federal authorities and capabilities, and protections for the states.”
“State election officials, who have primacy in running elections, were not sufficiently warned or prepared to handle an attack from a hostile nation-state actor,” the report stated, according to Politico.
That’s a much different story from the one Biden told earlier this month.
“Look at what’s happening with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Biden said in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
“While Putin is trying to undo our elections, he is undoing elections in Europe. Look what’s happened in Hungary. Look what’s happened in Poland. Look what’s happened in Moldova.
“You think that would happen on my watch or Barack’s watch? You can’t answer that, but I promise you it wouldn’t have, and it didn’t.”
Actually, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee, it did.
In a statement, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, said the report should be a wake-up call, according to The Hill.
“In 2016, the U.S. was unprepared at all levels of government for a concerted attack from a determined foreign adversary on our election infrastructure,” the statement said.
“There is still much work that remains to be done, however. It is my hope that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan report will provide the American people with valuable insight into the election security threats still facing our nation and the ways we can address them.”
It’s important to stress that the committee did not find evidence that the Russian efforts affected the outcome of any elections.
But there is no question about who was president – and vice president – during the time it covered.
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