Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told us last week that Russia is attempting to “degrade our democratic values and weaken our alliances.” A few days later, after the Mueller indictment came down, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster noted to a Russia delegate of the Munich Security Conference, “as you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence [of Kremlin interference] is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain.” Most alarming were the comments of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who warned Russia would and is seeking to influence this year’s congressional elections and he felt the U.S. couldn’t do much about it.
That’s just not true. Over the past year, I’ve testified four times to Senate committees regarding Russian influence operations and briefed nearly every arm of the government on what the U.S. could do to protect itself against Kremlin meddling moving forward. There are a variety of ways in which American companies and the American government could meet Vladimir Putin’s challenge—from hardening our electoral systems to banning social media bots to imposing sanctions on the Russian troll farmers.