Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New CAP Report Shows Russia’s Efforts to Undermine American Democracy Did Not Begin Or End With 2016 Election
Press Release

RELEASE: New CAP Report Shows Russia’s Efforts to Undermine American Democracy Did Not Begin Or End With 2016 Election

Press Contacts

  • Morgan Finkelstein

Washington, D.C. A new report from the Center for American Progress outlines Russia’s continuing hostile actions towards the United States and its allies and warns that Russia’s efforts to undermine American democracy did not begin or end with the 2016 election. Russia’s vast espionage and cybercapabilities continue to target the U.S. government, its citizens, as well as America’s allies around the world.

“The Kremlin treats the United States as an adversary based on what America stands for and represents—not who is in the White House,” said Max Bergmann, CAP senior fellow and co-author of the report. “Russia is not done. They were successful in interfering in the 2016 election, and they will be back if we don’t do something about it. We need to address this national security threat before it’s too late.”

The report notes that Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system was far more widespread than initially believed; Russian hackers hit election systems in at least 21 states. What’s more, Russia is probing critical U.S. infrastructure and examining ways to strike at it, targeting everything from nuclear power plants to fiber-optic cables and telecoms. A key objective of Russian foreign policy is to undermine U.S. interests and U.S. global leadership. Yet, while Congress passed bipartisan sanctions on Russia nearly unanimously, the Trump administration has stalled implementation.

At a press conference in the U.S. Capitol today, members of Congress highlighted the report and called for more action to address the threats posed by Russia.

“A report just released by the Center for American Progress highlights the seriousness of the problems that face us. It is unacceptable that we are doing nothing to prevent this Russian aggression and ensure that foreign entities are never able to interfere in our democracy,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).

“As this report makes clear, Russia has not relented in its hostility towards our country. In fact, they’ve continued to escalate their dangerous behavior since President Trump took office,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).

CAP’s report includes recommendations for action in Congress and cooperation from the administration to properly implement sanctions, protect America’s infrastructure, bolster cybercapabilities and defense assets, and expand public diplomacy efforts.

To read “Acts of an Adversary: Russia’s Ongoing Hostilities Toward the United States and Its Allies” by Max Bergmann and Carolyn Kenney, click here.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Morgan Finkelstein at 202.478.5311 or mfinkelstein@americanprogress.org.