White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders insisted on Wednesday that President Donald Trump was not ignoring Russian election interference like she claimed President Barack Obama had.
During an interview with Sanders on the White House lawn, Fox News host Bill Hemmer noted that Trump had recently promised to “counteract” any Russian interference in the 2018 midterm elections.
“What is happening at [the Department of Homeland Security]?” Hemmer wondered. “The American people need to know that the meddling will be dealt with.”
“There are a number of things that are happening,” Sanders replied defensively. “DHS is certainly taking a huge lead on this process. But it’s an interagency process. We’ve got people — a lot of people from the intelligence community that are working on this. The president is committed to making sure that not just Russia — but particularly Russia — but any country or any outsider doesn’t have the ability to influence or impact our elections.”
“Is that security on the technology front?” Hemmer pressed. “What is that?”
“There are a number of different things,” Sanders replied. “It’s certainly security on the technology front, it’s backing up systems, it’s making sure that we have integrity when it comes to the voting systems, it’s helping the states. I mean, we have to remember that the states own these elections.”
“But it’s March,” the Fox News host noted. “When do we know?”
“Look, it’s not a one-day process,” Sanders stuttered. “This is something we’re going to continue working on. We’ve had a number of these meetings with state and local officials. We’re going to continue working with states to secure their systems.”
“I can assure you that this administration across the board, agency wide is taking this very seriously,” she added. “And taking very big steps to make sure that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the previous administration and ignore this problem and not take big and bold action.”
Watch the video below from Fox News.
Donald Trump’s lurch toward fascism is backfiring spectacularly
Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.
During the 2016 campaign, as Donald Trump railed against "Mexican rapists" and other "criminal aliens," pollsters found that the share of Americans who said that immigrants worked hard and made a positive contribution to our society increased significantly, and noticed a similar decline in the share who said they take citizens' jobs and burden our social safety net. After Trump was elected and began pursuing his Muslim ban, the share of respondents who held a positive view of Islam also increased pretty dramatically. I'm not aware of any polling of the general public about transgender troops serving in the military before Trump decided to discharge them, but Gallup found that 71 percent of respondents opposed his position after he did.
Judge blocking release of Jeffrey Epstein records has ties to officials linked to Epstein: report
On Saturday, the Miami Herald reported that a judge who blocked the release of grand jury material in the Jeffrey Epstein child sex abuse case has ties to three officials with a vested interest in the outcome of the lawsuits surrounding the scandal.
"Krista Marx, the Palm Beach chief judge who also heads a panel that polices judicial conduct, has potential conflicts of interest involving three prominent players embroiled in the Epstein sex-trafficking saga: State Attorney Dave Aronberg, who has been sued by the Palm Beach Post to release the grand jury records; Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, whose department’s favored treatment of Epstein while he was in the Palm Beach County jail is part of an ongoing state criminal investigation; and ex-State Attorney Barry Krischer, part of the same investigation in connection with his decision not to prosecute Epstein on child-sex charges," wrote Julie Brown, a reporter who has extensively covered the Epstein case.
WATCH: Buffalo cops and firefighters cheer officers charged with assault as they leave the courthouse
According to a report from both CNN and MSNBC, the two Buffalo police officers who were charged with second-degree assault after shoving a 75-year-old anti-police brutality protester to the ground where he sustained head injuries were greeted with applause after they were arraigned on Saturday morning.
MSNBC's Alex Witt noted that both officers were released without having to post bail.
According to ABC News, "Officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault during their video arraignments on Saturday and were released on their own recognizance. They both entered no guilty pleas and are expected back in court on July 20."