WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on a new report released by U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee, that outlines extensive Russian interference in at least nineteen European countries. Despite this report and clear evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Trump administration has failed to meaningfully address this serious national security threat.
Murphy and U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act, which was signed into law last year. The law improves the ability of the United States to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation from countries like Russia through the Global Engagement Center, an interagency center housed at the State Department. Murphy and Portman secured additional support for efforts to counter propaganda and disinformation in the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“This report needs to be a wake-up call for the Trump administration. The extent of Russia’s interference is not new—we know Russia has brazenly meddled in democracies across the world, including our own,” said Murphy. “Congress passed our Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act with strong bipartisan support, but the Trump administration has not used the tools given to it in this legislation. Congress needs to support additional anti-corruption efforts, and the Trump administration needs to immediately start using the tools Congress provided them to fight back against Russia’s dangerous propaganda and disinformation crusade.”
Murphy is the author of “Rethinking the Battlefield,” a comprehensive proposal containing specific recommendations to dramatically increase the United States’ non-military footprint abroad by nearly doubling the U.S. foreign affairs budget – including the State Department and USAID – with an emphasis on funding for international development, additional foreign service officers, anti-corruption efforts, countering propaganda, crisis response, and humanitarian relief.