Check out the video and transcript, below, as Sen. Tim Kaine earlier today questioned Admiral Rodgers in Senate Armed Services Committee, pushing him hard on the Trump Administration utterly failing to protect us from Russia meddling in our democracy. As Sen. Kaine puts it: “The U.S. government has failed to protect our democracy against Russia’s meddling. As a result, our country has been humiliated. We’ve had our pocket picked. We’ve lost what may be the first cyber war that our nation has been in…The President’s failure to act to protect our democracy should alarm us all.” Exactly.
“I was interested that in the aftermath of the announcements by Director Mueller of indictments of 13 Russian individuals two Fridays ago that the President tweeted out, and I’m just gonna use his words, I normally wouldn’t use these words, but I’m gonna quote him. He said Russia is “laughing their asses off” and he also said “that Russia has succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.”
I think this is gonna be a chapter in our life where we’re gonna just have to acknowledge we’ve been humiliated as a country. Our democracy has been humiliated, we’ve had our pocket picked, we’ve lost what may be the first real cyber war that our nation has been in. You can characterize it a lot of different ways but I think it’s gonna be characterized as a chapter of failure. The U.S. government failed to protect the U.S. democracy.
And I wanna ask you based on your lengthy experience in this position but really your lengthy experience in service to the country: where is the source of that failure? Was the failure a failure of imagination? Was it a failure of will? Was it a failure of policy? Was it a failure of structure? Was it a failure of personnel? Was it a failure of leadership? Was it a failure of investment? Was it more than one of those things?
We can learn from failure, and we should, so that we can improve, but I think the history of this, especially the 2016 election, which has now lead to 19 indictments or guilty pleas by individuals and another three indictments or pleas by entities, it’s gonna be viewed as a chapter where the U.S. government failed the U.S. democracy, and I want your best professional judgment in what may be your last appearance before the committee in this particular role, as where the source of that failure is so that we can fix it.”