Hackers backed by the Russian government targeted voting systems in 21 states last year in an effort to undermine confidence in the principle of free and fair elections, U.S. security officials testified on Wednesday.
While the Russian interference in the 2016 campaign has been known for months, it was the first time U.S. officials have said how many states' electoral systems were targeted.
Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the officials said none of the digital intrusions affected the parts of electoral systems that counted votes -- but that they expect Russia to keep trying.
Tuesday night, President Trump celebrated two Republican victories in special House elections in conservative districts as a validation of his “Make America Great Again” agenda. On Wednesday, he was offering free advice to his Democratic rivals.
“Democrats would do much better as a party if they got together with Republicans on Healthcare, Tax Cuts, Security,” he wrote on Twitter. “Obstruction doesn’t work!”
Democrats would do much better as a party if they got together with Republicans on Healthcare,Tax Cuts,Security. Obstruction doesn't work!
Democrats were hardly likely to take his advice, given the widespread unpopularity of the Trump agenda. But the initial Wednesday morning quarterbacking among pundits and politicians -- especially about Republican Karen Handel’s victory in the most closely-watched of the two special elections, in suburban Atlanta, Georgia 6th congressional district -- was more about what Democrats did wrong than Republicans did right.
Democrats came up short Tuesday night in their costly bid to wrest control of a longtime GOP congressional seat in the suburbs north of Atlanta, losing a race the party had hoped would showcase deep Republican vulnerability in the Trump era.
Republican Karen Handel, the former secretary of state of Georgia, defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff, 52% to 48%. The contest had turned into the costliest House race in history, as Democratic activists nationwide sent a surge of donations to political newcomer Ossoff in an attempt to turn blue a district Republicans have controlled since the Carter administration.
The seat was last held by Tom Price, who vacated it to become President Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary. While the close election result is sobering for the Republican Party in a conservative district it customarily wins by double digits, the victory helps the party avert – for now – potentially much more damaging fallout for the White House and Republicans in Congress.
The mood was jubilant, if jittery, as hundreds of Democrats squeezed into a ballroom at a hotel on the outskirts of Atlanta for the Jon Ossoff election-night party.
Many wore blue "Ossoff for Congress" T-shirts and baseball caps. Some clutched homemade campaign signs saying, “Vote for Ossoff" and “We Know How to Fight."
“The love we have for our candidate is really special,” Jill Vogin, a 55-year-old chief financial officer for a staffing company, said as she showed off her hand-knit, sleeveless sweater that spelled out, "Flip the 6th."
On a day when political attention was focused on a House race in suburban Atlanta, another bit of congressional election intrigue managed to turn heads in Washington.
A mustachioed ironworker, Randy Bryce, found a ready audience for an emotional bio-video introducing the Democrat as a blue-collar challenger to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, in 2018.
Activist, Ironworker, life-long resident of Wisconsin, & running for Congress against Speaker Paul Ryan. - RBFChttps://t.co/uGnQdVUhMx
Some who viewed the politically powerful video, in which Bryce shares heart-tugging scenes with his ailing mother and young son, wondered whether the hard-hat-wearing candidate was for real. Could this be a parody?
After months of secret negotiations, Senate Republicans are set to unveil their Obamacare overhaul Thursday, in hopes of voting next week before a holiday recess, leaders announced Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed complaints that Republicans were working behind closed doors as "laughable," and insisted "everyone will have adequate time" to review what he called Thursday's "discussion draft" before the vote.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) launched a major push Tuesday to overhaul the tax code this year — including massive cuts — but Republicans in Congress and the White House are running out of time as they continue to battle over the details.
With the legislative days remaining in the year dwindling, Ryan tried to jump-start the process with a major speech about what his staff described as the “crown jewel” of the Republican economic agenda.
“Once in a generation or so, there is an opportunity to do something absolutely transformational, something that will have a truly lasting impact long after you and I are gone,” he told the National Assn. of Manufacturers. “That moment is here and we are going to meet it. Ladies and gentleman, we are going to fix this nation’s tax code once and for all."
Maureen Evans, a 52-year-old IT database administrator, speaks outside a polling station about her vote for Republican Karen Handel in Georgia's closely-watched sixth district race.
Karyn Dolan was still mulling her decision in Georgia’s razor-tight House district race as she exited her local polling station Tuesday morning in scrubs after her night shift at a nearby hospital.
“It’s not an easy decision,” the 60-year-old registered nurse sighed after voting for Democrat Jon Ossoff at Life Center Ministries in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. “I’m still debating in my head.”
Dolan voted for Trump in the 2016 Presidential election. While she said she had not seen any concrete positives come out of Trump’s leadership, she was also not particularly enthused by Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former Congressional staff member. She worried that he did not live in the district and might be out of touch with residents.