Debbie Wasserman-Schutlz: Jeh Johnson of DHS is ‘Misinformed’
The plot only thickens. Jeh Johnson had testified that the DNC was not cooperative with the DHS’s attempts to assist it. If so, the question begs as to why.
But Debbie Wasserman-Schutlz herself insists that Sec. Johnson is ‘misinformed.’
“Former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz says former Obama administration DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson was “misinformed” when he testified yesterday that the DNC rebuked offers of help from the FBI when they were allegedly hacked in 2016. Wasserman Schultz says the U.S. intelligence community did nothing to help them, never asked for their servers, and let the Russians own the DNC network for more than a year.”
So the dissonance only deepens as she says she was never contacted:
“Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said Wednesday that neither the FBI nor any other government agency contacted her about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer networks.”
“At no point during my tenure at the DNC did anyone from the FBI or any other government agency contact or communicate with me about Russian intrusion on the DNC network. It is astounding to me that the chair of an organization like the DNC was never contacted by the FBI or any other agency concerned about these intrusions,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. “As a member of Congress, I had the unique clearance to hear any classified briefing that would be involved in such an intrusion, and the FBI clearly should have come to me with that information. They did not.”
“Wasserman Schultz appeared to be rebutting statements from former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who testified today that the DNC said it didn’t need the Department of Homeland Security’s help when it was hacked last year.”
“The Florida congresswoman said she would have accepted help from the FBI and other agencies had they discussed the hack with her.”
“If the FBI or any other government agency ever came to me with that information, I would have gladly welcomed their help,” she said. “In fact, back in March, former FBI Director Jim Comey testified that he wished he had personally done more to notify the DNC of the Russian intrusion.”
Still, at least in this passage, she’s much more focused on the FBI than the DHS. It’d be interesting to ask Jeh Johnson when the DHS offered this help? Was it after Wasserman-Schutlz was forced to resign?
Regarding the response of DHS and the rest of the Obama Administration, this debate continues to rage:
“Those closest to Obama defend the administration’s response to Russia’s meddling. They note that by August it was too late to prevent the transfer to WikiLeaks and other groups of the troves of emails that would spill out in the ensuing months. They believe that a series of warnings — including one that Obama delivered to Putin in September — prompted Moscow to abandon any plans of further aggression, such as sabotage of U.S. voting systems.”
“Denis McDonoughDenis McDonoughWhite House chief of staff. McDonough was one of the first few officials to discuss details of the intelligence., who served as Obama’s chief of staff, said that the administration regarded Russia’s interference as an attack on the “heart of our system.”
“We set out from a first-order principal that required us to defend the integrity of the vote,” McDonough said in an interview. “Importantly, we did that. It’s also important to establish what happened and what they attempted to do so as to ensure that we take the steps necessary to stop it from happening again.”
But other administration officials look back on the Russia period with remorse.
“It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend,” said a former senior Obama administration official involved in White House deliberations on Russia. “I feel like we sort of choked.”
I feel like we sort of choked. Whether or not that is the case, we do need to know more about the Obama response. To be sure, while it may be that the Obama team could have done more, the real shame is to Mitch McConnell who ruled out a bipartisan statement about the Russian interference.
McConnell as always was a Republican first and an American second.
Still, once it became clear that the Republicans would not do a bipartisan statement, Obama should have done one without them. Even Jeh Johnson suggested they held back out of concern about being seen as partisan. James Comey didn’t worry about this on October 28 to say nothing of Jason Chaffetz.
If there is a clear criticism of the Obama team response it’s that they didn’t say more publicly. Jeh Johnson in his House testimony emphasized that he personally had made a number of public statements, but he also admitted that they didn’t necessarily breakthrough.
It’s true that the media didn’t take Russian interference at all seriously before the election.
But as the message wasn’t getting through perhaps they should have intensified it. Obama himself should have said more.
As for Denis McDonough’s assertion that they defended the integrity of the vote, this is still far from clear despite comments like his.
For one thing we now know that there was no audit of the vote.
And then, everyday there is another report that shows the penetration of our election system itself was deeper than previously appreciated.
Now Time has a new report that voter data was successfully altered.
So questions are not being answered so much as raising further questions.
P.S. So the Gravis poll against Peter King NY2 and it has good news-almost too good to believe.
In my March poll I trailed King by 11 and thought that was very good news. Now Gravis has me up by 10? Still, the moment of truth is next week when Gravis writes up the press release.
I can use any help I can get at this point-volunteers or supporters who live in NY 2. Donations whatever your zip code. These days we can’t just support a local Dem we need a Dem Congress. Which is why I’ve donated few hundred to Jon Ossoff.
Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House-$5 or $10 can do so much.
If you feel that you can’t I, of course, understand-who is rich these days? But please do me one favor: ask yourself privately, mentally, if you really can’t spare $5 dollars. If you can honestly say you can’t, no worries.
We can have a Dem Congress, we must have a Dem Cogress, and we will.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.