Clinton Watts, a former FBI Special Agent who is now a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, warned MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Russia is still launching cyber attacks aimed at disrupting American democracy.
A “Morning Joe” panel on Wednesday began by reading an op-ed written in the Washington Post by former acting CIA Director Mike Morell and former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, who argue that Russia hasn’t at all stopped its efforts to interfere with American elections by pushing propaganda through social media.
“The Kremlin playbook never stopped,” Watts explained. “For a non-election year, it’s about audience sustainment and infiltration… You pick an audience that you really want to cozy up to, and you just repeat what they say.”
Watts said that what’s really scary is that governments from across the globe are looking at the way Russia is using social media to influence American politics and are employing those techniques on their own people.
“They’re saying, ‘This is extremely cheap, I can manipulate any audience,'” Watts explained.
Even more disturbing, he said, is that the United States government isn’t doing anything to counter these efforts.
“Nothing’s changed,” he said. “I’ve briefed around the government for the last three years… and the basic things we could do around the election and vote protection, you know, voting machines? We haven’t even done that.”
Watch the video below.