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Blumenthal on CNN: Russia Interference is “A 9/11 National Emergency”

July 19, 2018 By Staff
Blumenthal on CNN: Russia Interference is “A 9/11 National Emergency”

The senior senator compared Russian interference in elections to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) compared Russian interference in U.S. elections to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people, in an interview with CNN on Wednesday.

“We are in a 9/11 national emergency because our country is under attack, literally,” Blumenthal told CNN. “That attack is ongoing and pervasive, verified by objective and verifiable evidence. Those words are, again, from the director of National Security.”

What Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats said was:

“It was in the months prior to September 2001 when, according to then-CIA Director George Tenet, the system is blinking red. And here we are nearly two decades later, and I’m here to say, the warning lights are blinking red again,” Coats said.

There’s some nuance in what Coats said: there are warning signs in the intelligence system over Russian interference, similar to when there were warning signs in intelligence ahead of the 9/11 attacks.

Blumenthal appeared to take Coats’ warning and extend the metaphor to comparing Russian interference with the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.

Blumenthal’s full answer, courtesy of CNN transcripts:

[CNN HOST JOHN] BERMAN: So what are you going to do about this?

You brought up the translator. Do you think Republicans will actually allow a subpoena to be issued to get the translator to testify before Congress to say what went on behind closed doors?

BLUMENTHAL: Well, that is a key question John and my answer is that Republicans have a historic responsibility as do all of us because the red light is flashing, as the director of National Security Dan Coats put it, much as it was before 9/11.

We are in a 9/11 national emergency because our country is under attack, literally. That attack is ongoing and pervasive, verified by objective and verifiable evidence. Those words are, again, from the director of National Security.

And this 9/11 moment demands that we do come together. Issue a subpoena not only for the translator and the notes but also for the national security team that debriefed the president about these supposed agreements in the sphere of international security.

Again, a direct quote from the Russian news agency that says it’s ready to enliven contacts. That word is of uncertain meaning.

But we need to move forward in the Congress not only on this issue but also to impose sanctions — make the Russians pay a price. And also, to expose Putin’s ill-gotten gains.