White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Sunday declined to say whether President Trump brought up election interference during his call with Russian President Vladimir Putin as the intelligence community warns of possible foreign interference in the November election.
On Friday, congressional Democrats and the Trump administration released dueling statements regarding election interference. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and leading Democrats on House and Senate intelligence panels criticized Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center William Evanina’s statement — which warned that Russia, China and Iran posed threats to this year’s election as they “continue to use influence measures in social and traditional media” — for giving “a false sense of equivalence to the actions of foreign adversaries by listing three countries of unequal intent, motivation and capability together.”
When asked about whether the President brought up election interference with Putin during his last phone call with him and what steps he’s taking to prevent it, Meadows sidestepped the question by arguing that Trump is “doing a great deal to prevent it” before going on to slam the Obama administration.
“You know, as we saw the previous administration, they talked about election interference and did very little to address it,” Meadows said. “Not only have we seen hundreds of millions of dollars that have been invested, but two different legislative actions that this President has signed off on to make sure that election integrity is important.”
After insisting that the Department of Homeland Security, the intel community, the Department of Justice, are working to ensure that foreign interference doesn’t play into this year’s election, Meadows argued that “there’s a big difference between foreign interference and foreign influence.”
“They continue to try to influence, as everyone does across the globe,” Meadows said. “But in terms of actually affecting the vote totals and interacting, I think we’re in a good place.”
Meadows added that the Trump administration is willing to work with secretaries of states of all 50 states regarding concerns of foreign interference in the election.
Watch Meadows’ remarks below:
Asked by @gstephanopoulos whether Pres. Trump raised foreign election interference with Vladimir Putin this week, WH Chief of Staff Mark Meadows declines to answer but says Pres. Trump "is doing a great deal to prevent it." https://t.co/qxICVVlxra pic.twitter.com/4kApLhqnv1
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 26, 2020