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Election officials want security money, flexible standards
After 2016 Russian intrusion, slow progress seen toward securing rolls and paper ballots

Voters line up at a temporary voting location in a trailer in the Arroyo Market Square shopping center in Las Vegas on the first day of early voting in Nevada in October of 2016. Louisiana and Connecticut officials requested more money and clear standards from the federal government before voters head to the polls in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

State officials from Louisiana and Connecticut on Thursday asked for more money and clear standards from the federal government to help secure voting systems before the 2020 elections.

But the officials, Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin and Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, stressed the differences between their election systems and asked for leeway from the federal government in deciding how to spend any future funding.

Disinformation moves from fringe sites to Facebook, YouTube
Report: Extremists promoting conspiracies are using same tactics as foreign actors

People gather Wednesday at a makeshift memorial honoring victims outside the scene of the mass shooting in El Paso. Police believe the shooter posted an anti-immigrant manifesto on the fringe site 8chan before he went on his rampage. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Lawmakers and regulators focusing their attention on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for the platforms’ role in propagating disinformation may be missing a big chunk of other online sites and portals that drive conspiracies and outright falsehoods, according to a nonprofit group that is studying how disinformation works.

Sites and discussion portals such as 4chan, 8chan, Reddit and Gab, as well as smaller social media sites such as Pinterest and even payment sites such as PayPal and GoFundMe, and online retailers such as Amazon and others are all part of a large online ecosystem that helps domestic and foreign agents shape disinformation and launch adversarial campaigns, the Global Disinformation Index said in a report released last week.

House Democrats thread the needle on impeachment in hometown town halls
The impeachment caucus now includes half of the Democratic members of the House

Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., said he does not support an impeachment inquiry, but agreed with a constituent who said that investigations are not moving fast enough at a town hall this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats back in their districts for a six-week-long congressional recess have walked a tightrope on whether to impeach the president, according to local reports. 

The impeachment caucus now includes half of the Democratic members of the House.

Capitol Ink | Family Road Trip

Capitol Ink | Special Cocktail

Trump, a native New Yorker, never publicly got behind 9/11 responders bill
‘He back-channeled this one,’ says a White House official after president signed the measure

Jon Stewart, former host of “The Daily Show,” smiles as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks by in the Ohio Clock Corridor on July 23. The Senate later that day easily passed legislation to help 9/11 first-responders and their families, which Stewart was advocating. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Monday signed legislation to help 9/11 first-responders and the families of ones who died from health complications, even though the New Yorker and his administration never publicly got behind the bill.

Aides contend the president chose to push for “yea” votes behind the scenes.

Dan Coats leaving post as Director of National Intelligence
Trump says he will appoint Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe as Coats’ replacement

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats will be leaving his position. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Dan Coats is leaving the post as Director of National Intelligence on August 15, President Donald Trump announced Sunday.

“I would like to thank Dan for his great service to our Country. The Acting Director will be named shortly,” Trump tweeted.

Election infrastructure bill remains stalled as Senate Intelligence panel releases first volume of Russia report
Sen. James Lankford still wants to work on paper trail legislation

The Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Chairman Richard M. Burr, right, and Mark Warner, released an election security report on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the Senate Intelligence Committee was releasing the first volume of its comprehensive report into Russian election interference in 2016, a Republican senator was making clear that he still wants to get support for encouraging states to have paper audit trails and to boost the ability of election officials to get timely security clearances.

Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, who has been working with Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar, told reporters Thursday that with the 2020 primaries and caucuses just around the corner, security enhancements would be meant for the next midterms.

Capitol Ink | Movie Review

Robert Mueller was sobering. That spilled over to D.C. bars
Political Theater, Episode 83

A man watches former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III testify before the House Judiciary Committee on a TV screen at Duffy’s Irish Pub in Washington on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Have we hit peak Mueller?

That would seem to be the former special counsel’s preference, which was certainly reflected in a blah reaction from those tuning in.