Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Monday rejected arguments from the Trump administration and supporters of the president that Ukraine was involved in interfering with the 2016 presidential election.
"It was all Russia at the behest of Vladimir Putin at the very top, to tilt the election in favor of Donald Trump and against Hillary Clinton," Johnson, who served under former President Barack Obama, said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "There's no doubt about it. We're heard that from both sides of the aisle, the United States Senate, from the special counsel, from our entire intelligence community. The view is unanimous."
He also took issue with Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., who on Sunday argued that the jury is still out when asked if he was asked in an interview if he accepts that it was Russia and not Ukraine who hacked into the Democratic National Committee's server in 2016.
"My read is that the statement is irresponsible," Johnson said Monday. "He is a United States senator. He does know. He knows from the statement that the Director of National Intelligence and I issued on Oct. 7, 2016. He knows from the very detailed and methodical indictments into Russian hacking and Russian disinformation issued by the special counsel and he knows from the Senate Intelligence Committee chaired by his fellow Republican Richard Burr that the Russians, the Russian government at the behest of Vladimir Putin was behind the interference in our democracy."
Meanwhile, Johnson said he does believe the DHS over the past three years has done a considerable amount of work with states on elections to strengthen infrastructure cybersecurity.
"I think we've got a long way to go and there is no line of defense to prevent this 100%," said Johnson. "The only way to prevent a nation-state actor from doing this again is to make the behavior cost-prohibitive, which in my judgment we have yet to do."
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