Hillary Clinton told Rachel Maddow last night that she has spoken with most of the Democratic presidential candidates. She said she brings up the problem of election security "from what happened before and what could happen again, because there is greater sophistication about it, you could lose. And I don't mean it to scare anybody, but I do want every candidate to understand that this remains a threat."
"That they could lose at the hands of a foreign power, not that they could lose fair and square," Maddow said.
"That's right, that it wasn't on the level. It wasn't on the level in 2016. It could be once again not on the level because we have never really understood as much as we need to. And i think the Mueller report didn't go there. That wasn't what they thought their charge was. and since there is no, you know, like, a 9/11 Commission to figure out what it is that happened. So how we prevent it should it be the priority of everyone.
"I worry a lot that there's a greater sophistication. They've learned some things that they now are going to deploy against us. And us means the country, not just Democrats," she said.
"The cyber world as a landscape for warfare and landscape for intelligence operations like the one that we saw that targeted you in 2016, military intelligence operation designed to make sure that you wouldn't be president and that if you were, your presidency would be hampered," Maddow said.
"That as the landscape of intercontinental battle is overwhelming to me in terms of me trying to imagine myself, like, in a leadership role or in some sort of policy advisory role, what I think the country should do to stop that from happening. It feels both too big and too amorphous to hold on to. but as somebody who has confronted these things in a leadership position and somebody whose been on the sharp end of this as a target, do you feel like if the U.S. government really cared and was motivated and was intending to stop this from happening, there are things that we could do? We could be effective, we could stop this, and we're just not choosing those policy options?"
Clinton said we have evidence that it can be stopped. She pointed out that, on Election Day in 2018, the federal government used cyber tools to shut down a lot of the sites that could be interfering.
"So number one, that tells us they know they're out there. And number two, they took action to stop them. I think that's just literally the tip of the spear, though. I think there is so much more that could and should be done. And, you know, there are a lot of people. you can read them online. you can read their academic work. They have all kinds of ideas about what to do to protect our systems.
"The Republicans in the Senate wouldn't at all go forward with some of the bipartisan legislation that was meant to secure our elections under orders from the White House. Now, why is that? Well, because they think it helped them. And the Republicans look at the Trump White House and say well, you know, the Russians probably did help them, you know, just whatever extent we may not yet know, so we're not going to go there. We're going to do what they tell us.
"Let's suppose that you had one of the Democratic nominees for 2020 on your show, and that person said, you know, 'The only other adversary of ours who is anywhere near as good as the Russians is China. So why should Russia have all the fun? And since Russia is clearly backing republicans, why don't we ask China to back us?
"And not only that, China, if you're listening, why don't you get Trump's tax returns? I'm sure our media would richly reward you. Now according to the Mueller report, that is not conspiracy because it's done right out in the open. so if after this hypothetical Democratic candidate says this on your show, within hours, all of a sudden, the IRS offices are bombarded with incredibly sophisticated cyber tools looking for Trump's tax returns, and then extracts them and then passes them to whatever the new Wikileaks happens to be and they start being unravelled and disclosed, nothing wrong with that. "
"I mean, if you're going let Russia get away with what they did and are still doing according to Christopher Wray, the current FBI director who said that last week, they're in our election systems. We're worried about 2020, he said. So, hey, let's have a great power contest, and let's get the Chinese in on the side of somebody else. Just saying that shows how absurd the situation we find ourselves in."