Former DHS Chief Says That 2016 Russia Sanctions Were Not Effective Enough

on June 21, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Wednesday morning that looking back, he does not believe that the sanctions imposed on Russia in response to election meddling by the Obama administration were strong enough.

“The Russian effort has not been contained, it has not been deterred,” Johnson told the Senate Intelligence Committee in a hearing on election security. “With the benefit of hindsight, the sanctions we issued in late December have not worked as an effective deterrent.”

Johnson called on the Trump administration to build on those sanctions.

The former homeland security secretary also emphasized the challenge he faced in preparing states for election meddling ahead of the 2016 election. He noted that many states are resistant to the federal government designating election infrastructure as critical infrastructure, which would facilitate states’ ability to seek security help from the federal government.

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