Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) on Wednesday called out DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for not acting with a sense of urgency to secure U.S. election systems from Russians and other foreign actors.
During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Collins noted that the Department of Homeland Security had been slow to get security clearances for election officials who are responsible for securing voting systems.
"At this point we know for certain that the Russians were relentless in their efforts and also that those efforts are ongoing," Collins explained to the DHS secretary. "And yet, when I listen to your testimony, I hear no sense of urgency to really get on top of this issue."
Collins said that she was disappointed to recently learn that "not a single state election official" had received the necessary security clearances.
For her part, Nielsen insisted that the issue was of "extreme urgency" to her department, and she said that 20 election officials had received security clearances.
"Twenty out of 150," Collins gasped.
"Yes, ma'am," Nielsen admitted.
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