Mark Warner

Bill Nelson Says Florida Election Systems Compromised by Russians
Senate Intelligence Committee avoids confirming or denying Democratic senator’s statement

Sen. Bill Nelson, right said he and fellow Florida Sen. Marco Rubio were made aware of Russian penetration of Florida election systems. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee told Sen. Bill Nelson to alert Florida election officials about Russian interference in their systems, they aren’t saying.

Nelson, a Florida Democrat on the ballot in 2018, was quoted by the Tampa Bay Times Wednesday saying that, “We were requested by the chairman and vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee to let the supervisors of election in Florida know that the Russians are in their records.”

Trump Tries to Save Reliable GOP House Seat in Ohio
Republican Troy Balderson is in tight race against Democrat Danny O’Connor

President Donald Trump, here in South Carolina in June, was in Ohio Saturday to stump for GOP House candidate Troy Balderson in his tight race. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

Updated 20:29 p.m. | President Donald Trump dove headfirst into a House special election Saturday evening, aiming to give Ohio Republican Troy Balderson a final push three days before Election Day.

The race in the suddenly competitive 12th District between the state lawmaker and Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor, polls say, is now essentially tied. Trump and Republican leaders are eager to keep the seat in GOP hands after the retirement of former Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi earlier this year.

Senate Intelligence Authorized to Give Maria Butina Transcripts to Legal Teams
Move allows document production for the case against alleged Russian foreign agent

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., right, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., said they requested the full chamber move to authorize the release of the transcript of testimony from alleged Russian foreign agent Maria Butina. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate late Wednesday authorized the Intelligence Committee to hand over documents relevant to the case of the United States v. Maria Butina.

Butina is the Russian national who has been indicted on charges of conspiracy and acting as a foreign agent without proper authorization.

Meet 8 LGBT Aides Who Climbed the Hill
‘People assume you’re not tough enough to tackle a negotiation, and they’re always mistaken’

Michelle Mittler from the office of Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said “on Capitol Hill in general, everyone is assumed to be heteronormative unless explicitly told otherwise.” (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Lingering inequality, coming out to your boss — high-ranking political aides have faced it.

The Capitol may still be a “heteronormative” place where some wonder, “Am I commanding enough?” But LGBT staffers run media shops, committees and offices.

Senators Working to Reinstate Mandatory Cyber Training
House mandated all staff training in 2015, while Senate lapsed in requirements

Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Roy Blunt and his colleagues on the panel are working to reinstate mandatory cybersecurity training for the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate staffers are not required to undergo information security or cybersecurity training, even as hackers target Congress.

“The cybersecurity threat is very real, and frankly we haven’t stepped up and done what I think we should do to deal with it — which should be an all government response,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said when asked Tuesday about attempted hacks of Senate networks.

Facebook Removes Pages, Russian Intelligence Suspected
Lawmakers say Facebook’s announcement is another warning sign

Facebook said this event in Washington, D.C., was sent up by a bad actor. (Facebook screenshot)

Updated 3:28 p.m. | Facebook’s announcement about the removal of bogus pages that might be tied to Russian intelligence efforts has the top Democrats on the congressional Intelligence Committees renewing warnings about what’s ahead in 2018.

“Today’s disclosure is further evidence that the Kremlin continues to exploit platforms like Facebook to sow division and spread disinformation, and I am glad that Facebook is taking some steps to pinpoint and address this activity,” Virginia Sen. Mark Warner said in a statement. “I also expect Facebook, along with other platform companies, will continue to identify Russian troll activity and to work with Congress on updating our laws to better protect our democracy in the future.”

It’s National Talk in an Elevator Day, Lawmakers Do a Lot of That
Proof: 10 photos of members of Congress talking in elevators

Republican members, including from left, Reps. Eric Cantor, Jeb Hensarling, John Carter and John Boehner, crowd onto an elevator on the 5th floor of the Longworth House Office Building following the House GOP's conference meeting on May 20, 2008. The elevator door would not close until Reps. Eric Cantor, R-Va., and John Carter, R-Texas, got off. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s the weather, the morning commute, how happy you are that it’s Friday. But mostly in the elevator, it’s awkward silence.

Not today!

Senators to Hear from Social Media Experts on Foreign Influence Operations
Hearing part of a flurry of Senate activity to curb Russian election interference in wake of Helsinki summit

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators on the Intelligence Committee are set to get a 101 lesson on foreign influence operations from social media experts next week, as Congress wrestles with how to reel in President Donald Trump, who some lawmakers have said is being manipulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina and Vice Chairman Mark Warner of Virginia have scheduled an open hearing for next Wednesday, Aug. 1, to examine how foreign intelligence agencies conduct influence campaigns in the U.S. through various social media platforms.

McCaskill: Russian Hack Attempt of Senate Staffer Not Successful
‘I will not be intimidated,’ Missouri Democrat says of failed phishing effort

A staffer for Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., was reportedly targeted by Russian hackers. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 8:48 p.m. | Sen. Claire McCaskill said Thursday that Russian hackers did not successfully penetrate her Senate office’s computer systems, following a report that one of her policy aides was the target of a phishing attack. 

“While this attack was not successful, it is outrageous that they think they can get away with this. I will not be intimidated,” the Missouri Democrat said in a statement. “I’ve said it before and I will say it again, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is a thug and a bully.”

Roanoke Office of Mark Warner Vandalized; Arrest Made
Brick thrown through window before any staffers had arrived

The Roanoke office of Sen. Mark Warner was vandalized on Monday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Police in Roanoke, Virginia have made an arrest after a brick was thrown through the window of Sen. Mark Warner’s office Monday.

James Trainor, 36, allegedly threw a brick through the glass front door of the Virginia Democrat’s office in downtown Roanoke, according to police. The vandalism occurred Monday morning before any staffers had arrived for the day.