by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Neither former President Barack Obama nor any member of his cabinet warned state election officials of any Russian effort to hack or interfere with the country’s electoral systems, according to the president of the National Association of Secretaries of State.
“We did ask,” Denise Merrill, Connecticut secretary of state and the association’s top official, told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group Wednesday.
“And over-and-over again, they did say there was no credible threat that they had found. And they said that right through the election, and the next administration reiterated that. Over and over again when we asked, we were told there was no actual threat that they knew of,” Merrill said.
Asked if there were any private briefings for state election officials on possible Russian interference prior to the November 2016 voting, Merrill said, “No. We were not briefed on any of that. We were not told in advance.”
Merrill also claimed the administration failed to take state officials aside about a potential or real Russian threat to election machinery.
“That’s right, because I don’t really think there was one,” she said.
Merrill is a Democrat who previously served as majority leader in the Connecticut House of Representatives. In addition to serving as president of the association representing all of her fellow secretaries of state, she also is co-chairman of the group’s Election Cybersecurity Task Force.