The Trump administration has dramatically downsized two Department of Homeland Security teams tasked with fighting foreign election interference, according to Department of Homeland Security officials. Sources inside the department are worried the downsizing is a sign the United States will not be adequately prepared for cybersecurity threats in the 2020 presidential election. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) said Friday the such scaling back is “deeply concerning.”
“Preserving the security of our democratic process requires a whole of government approach, and public reporting that the Trump Administration has allowed the DHS task forces charged with protecting elections infrastructure and guarding against foreign malign influence to wither is deeply concerning,” Schiff told The Daily Beast. “Our Committee will continue to focus efforts on ensuring that our elections are secure, particularly in the run-up to the 2020 primaries and general election.”
The task forces were assembled in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. They are part of the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), one focuses in part on securing election infrastructure and the other focuses on foreign influence efforts, including social media disinformation campaigns.