WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today released the following statement on reports that Russian operatives bought ads to spread disinformation through Google and its products to influence the 2016 presidential election.
"We know Russians bought political ads on Facebook to influence our election - and now new reports indicate that Google also sold political ads to Russian entities. We must update our laws to ensure that when political ads are sold online Americans know who paid for them. Foreign agents are taking advantage of loopholes in our laws, which is why I'm introducing legislation to make online platforms disclose paid political ads and ensure foreign agents stop interfering in our elections."
As Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with oversight jurisdiction over federal elections, Klobuchar has introduced legislation to improve the security of U.S. election systems and make commonsense improvements to election administration. She and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced bipartisan legislation to help states block cyber-attacks, secure voter registration logs and voter data, upgrade election auditing procedures, and create secure and useful information sharing about threats. Klobuchar and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) have also introduced the bipartisan Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act to strengthen disclosure by requiring federal campaigns to use existing credit card verification protocols to help verify that online credit card donations come from U.S. sources. In June, Klobuchar introduced the Helping State and Local Governments Prevent Cyber Attacks Act to help combat foreign interference by providing state and local governments with the information and resources they need to keep our elections secure and improve voter confidence.
Klobuchar has led Senate Rules Committee Democrats in a call for hearings and briefings on foreign attempts to hack into U.S. election systems and improving cyber security. Klobuchar also led a group of 26 senators in calling for a full account of the Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) efforts to address Russian cybersecurity threats. In early January, Klobuchar introduced legislation with four other senators to create an independent, nonpartisan commission to comprehensively investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.