The White House blames Donald Trump’s presidential campaign victory on “fake news” websites run by the Russian government.
That’s why Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton is even more confused by President Barack Obama’s opposition earlier this year to a plan to combat Russian disinformation.
Concerned by Russian efforts to control the U.S. media, Cotton earlier this year pushed an effort “to force the White House to create a panel with representatives from a number of government agencies to counter Russian efforts ‘to exert covert influence,’ including by exposing Russian ‘falsehoods, agents of influence, corruption, human rights abuses, terrorism, and assassinations,’” POLITICO reports.
“Vladimir Putin is KGB. He always has been, and he always will be,” Cotton tells POLITICO.
The White House responded with a letter, rejecting the plan.
They claim they already had a plan to stop Russia from interfering in U.S. politics.
No they didn’t, says Cotton, pointing to Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee. While Wikileaks took credit for hacking the server, Russian state-run media were releasing the emails hours before Wikileaks “unveiled” them.
So is Obama lying when he says Russia influenced the election? Or did he just fail to stop them?
Cotton plans to reintroduce his plan in a new Senate bill, and expects President Trump to support it.
“I believe that the president-elect will take seriously the threat that Russia poses and also deal with them from a position of strength, which has been lacking for eight years,” Cotton tells POLITICO.