Sen. Claire McCaskill didn't let Trump's NSA chief get away with his excuses.
Trump has stubbornly stood in the way of imposing costs on Russia for its interference in the 2016 election. And Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill wants to know why.
During a Senate Armed Services hearing on Tuesday, Democrats asked National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers if the Trump administration had ordered him to take specific actions against Russian operators ahead of the 2018 midterms. Rogers said he had not received any such orders.
And in a fiery exchange, McCaskill pressed Rogers on the administration’s failure. And she pointedly asked if enough is being done to prevent Russia from attacking the next election.
“We’re taking steps, but we’re probably not doing enough,” Rogers replied.
“Why the hell not?” McCaskill asked. “What’s it going to take?”
Yet Rogers only responded that the answer “is bigger than I am.”
“You guys can do this, you give our America’s military a mission and nobody is better,” McCaskill said. “The notion that you have not been given this mission, to stop this this year, is outrageous.”
And Rogers had few good answers for anyone on the committee. “I believe that President Putin has come to the conclusion that there is little price to pay here,” he told Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Most noteworthy, he declared that “if we don’t change the dynamic here, this is going to continue.”
But Trump has consistently failed to impose costs on Russia for its election meddling. And he has done nothing to protect future elections. Furthermore, he even proposed a cybersecurity partnership with Russia.
Because Russia’s interference benefitted Trump and the Republicans, they have little incentive to do anything about it now.
But when administration officials like Rogers are admitting that something needs to change, Trump has little room left to disagree.