On Tuesday, CNN's John Avlon broke down how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is every bit the obstacle to secure and safe elections as President Donald Trump is.
"There should be things that transcend petty politics, and towards the top of that list is stopping foreign powers from interfering in our elections," said Avlon, playing a clip of former special counsel Robert Mueller warning about the dangers. "Robert Mueller's warning is again, falling on willfully deaf ears. We know that foreign powers continue to try to meddle in our elections. Trump's FBI director and Director of National Intelligence have made this crystal clear."
"Surely Congress will step up and act responsibly to secure our elections, right? Just kidding, a key group of Senate Republicans is doing everything they can to block, the ringmaster of this circus of denial? Sen. Mitch McConnell. Now, he's been careful to say that these threats and challenges are real, our responsibility to strengthen America is serious. He's just not going to actually allow the Senate to do anything about it."
"Remember, it was McConnell who stopped any bipartisan statement condemning Russian interference in 2016, according to former DNI James Clapper," said Avlon. "And now the man who calls himself the 'grim reaper' has killed common-sense legislation from every side of the aisle on election security, including mandatory sanctions on anyone who attacks an American election, a billion dollars to state and local authorities to strengthen election security, the Honest Ads Act, which would require big tech platforms like Facebook to disclose who's buying political ads, bills that would require backup paper ballots, and duty-to-report legislation that would require campaigns to report foreign interference."
"The last effort was blocked singlehandedly by Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn, who said no one wants foreign interference of any kind, but that bill was overbroad and should be done in a bipartisan way," said Avlon. "The unanimous consent effort she killed was bipartisan, and her Heisman was immediately hailed by president Trump. Now she's being joined by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski."
"Make no mistake, this Senate inaction is a derelict of duty, empowering our enemies at a time when FBI Director Chris Wray says more countries like China are getting into the game, and what we have experienced in the past is a dress rehearsal for what's coming next," warned Avlon. "Any senator blocking election security efforts is short-term politics. They're betting you won't notice or remember until after the next election. At that point, it may be too late. Bottom line, there can be no political excuse for failing to defend our democracy period, and that's your reality check."