Center to combat foreign influence campaigns was established by a provision based on Klobuchar and Reed’s legislation

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee with oversight over federal elections, and Jack Reed (D-RI), Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the statements below after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) announced the establishment of the Foreign Malign Influence Center. 

The Foreign Malign Influence Center was created by a provision based on Klobuchar and Reed’s Combatting Foreign Influence Act, enacted as part of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, to establish a centralized organization for the intelligence community to use a whole-of-government approach to collaboratively analyze and assess intelligence regarding foreign influence operations. 

“As foreign adversaries employ a range of sophisticated tactics to undermine our democracy, we need a coordinated and comprehensive approach to safeguard our elections from these malicious influence campaigns,” said Klobuchar. “The establishment of the Foreign Malign Influence Center, based on provisions from my legislation with Senator Reed, will enable our intelligence community to better collaborate to combat foreign threats to our elections. Establishing this center is an important step in helping us protect and secure our democracy.”  

“Information warfare and malign foreign influence campaigns pose serious threats to our national security and our democracy. I am pleased that the new center has been established. It will anticipate and assess the full spectrum of these threats, which continue to evolve.  Although several individual federal agencies have been working to combat foreign malign influence campaigns, until now there has been no whole-of-government coordination to effectively deter and counter these challenges. The center will provide important analytic and coordinating functions as we approach the midterm elections, but also as our government works to deter and counter future threats.  I hope to see the center appropriately staffed and running as soon as possible,” said Reed. 

Klobuchar and Reed first introduced the Combatting Foreign Influence Act, which created the Foreign Malign Influence Center, in September 2019. In addition to Klobuchar and Reed, the legislation was also sponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).