Washington, DC - Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson appeared today before the House Intelligence Committee Task Force investigating the Russian attack on the 2016 election.
While Johnson was providing testimony for the House Intelligence Committee, US Department of Homeland Security and FBI officials advised the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russian cyber operatives had targeted 21 state election systems, but did not provide further attack details.
On August 15, 2016, Johnson convened a conference call with Secretaries of State and other Chief Election Officials of every state in the country, offering DHS's assistance to states to ensure the security and resilience of election infrastructure, including designating election infrastructure as "critical infrastructure".
States reacted negatively to declaring the nation's election system as "critical infrastructure" for fear the federal government would intrude, trade over or regulate the election process, which is the sovereign and executive responsibility of the states, per the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.
By November 8 (election day), a large number of sites and local election officials (33 states and 36 cities and counties) leveraged DHS tools to scan for potential vulnerabilities and/or sought mitigation advice from DHS.
Click to Access Jeh Johnson's Statement