Speed Reads

2018 elections

The 2018 primaries begin in less than 6 months. Senators warn the U.S. has done little to prevent more Russian meddling.

The Trump administration's reluctant response to Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections has left some vulnerable Democrats fearing that Moscow could try to swing the results in 2018 to the GOP's advantage, too. Democratic senators up for re-election are "concerned the Trump administration is dragging its feet on thwarting sophisticated Russian cyber operations that could have significant impact on their races — and could even sway which party wins control of the Senate," Politico reports.

While President Trump has dismissed the focus on Russia as being a hoax, "experts and government officials at the state and federal level report that the U.S. government is woefully unprepared for future attacks," New York wrote last summer, with officials "citing both indifference from President Trump and others in the White House, as well as the Trump administration's failure to properly staff federal agencies responsible for dealing with such threats, like the Department of Homeland Security."

Even many Republicans have expressed concern about the 2018 elections, which begin as soon as March, with the Texas primary. "You can't walk away from this and believe that Russia's not currently active in trying to create chaos in our election process," said Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman.

Time is ticking. Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, who served in the Obama administration, emphasized in August that elections are "almost as vulnerable, perhaps, now as we were six, nine months ago."