Vice President Mike Pence confronted Russia on Tuesday for meddling in the 2016 presidential election, describing foreign interference efforts as an “affront to our democracy” that will not be tolerated.
The Vice President’s support of the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion comes two weeks after President Donald Trump cast doubt on the judgment alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin following a meeting in Helsinki.
“While other nations certainly possess the capability, the fact is, Russia meddled in our 2016 elections. That is the unambiguous judgment of the intelligence community and as the president said, we accept the intelligence community’s conclusion,” Pence said at the Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity summit in New York.
“Russia’s goal was to sow discord and division and to weaken the American people’s faith in our democracy. And, while no actual votes were changed, any attempt to interfere in our elections is an affront to our democracy and it will not be allowed,” Pence continued.
Earlier on Tuesday, a coordinated political influence campaign has been detected and dealt with ahead of November’s U.S. congressional elections by Facebook Inc. The company said on Tuesday that it has taken down dozens of fake accounts on its site
Pence also talked about a variety of actions the Trump administration is taking to protect future elections from threats, including the FBI’s decision to establish a foreign influence task force and Homeland Security’s efforts to work with states to ensure their election systems are secure from malicious actors.
According to The Washington Post, those efforts came from direct orders from President Trump.
Meanwhile, Democrats are regularly accusing the administration of not doing enough to protect against future interference.
“The United States of America will not tolerate any foreign interference in our elections from any nation state,” Pence said on Friday. “Not from Russia, China, Iran, North Korea or anyone else.”