by Chris White
Democrats continued to link Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to the Kremlin during a hacker’s conference over the weekend.
“It sure seems like Russia’s No. 1 ally in compromising American election security is Mitch McConnell,” Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon told an audience at DEF CON in Las Vegas. He was referring to the ongoing accusation from Democrats that McConnell’s decision not to adopt an election security bill is an example of the Kentucky Republican doing Russia’s bidding.
McConnell “knows full well that blocking election security legislation makes it easier for Russia and other foreign powers to attack the next election,” Wyden added. “And my sense is this is a price Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump are willing to accept.”
Wyden is pushing two House Democratic bills that would require voting machines produce paper records.
Other Democrats at the conference mirrored Wyden’s criticism. “I think you have to ask, why would Mitch McConnell not want to improve election security?” Rep. Ted Lieu of California, a Democrat and one of a handful of computer scientists in Congress, told Politico on Monday.
The Senate majority leader has repeatedly blocked votes in the upper chamber on two House Democratic bills that would require voting machines to produce paper records, mandate post-election audits and impose security requirements on election technology companies.
McConnell dinged Democrats in July for accusing him of being in league with Russia. “Last week I stopped Democrats from passing an election law bill through the Senate by unanimous consent, a bill that was so partisan that it only received one Republican vote over in the House,” he said on the Senate floor in July.
McConnell added at the time: “My Democratic friends asked for unanimous consent to pass a bill that everyone knows isn’t unanimous and never will be unanimous. So I objected.” He said Congress already approved hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to defend interference in U.S. elections — it’s a partisan ploy, McConnell noted.
Liberal media pundits like MSNBC host Joe Scarborough began using the term “Moscow Mitch” to mock McConnell’s indifference.
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Chris White is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.