American intelligence officials told House lawmakers last week that Russia already is interfering in the presidential campaign in an effort to see President Trump reelected. Republican and Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee attended the meeting on what a Democratic official called a briefing on "the integrity of our upcoming elections," the New York Times reports. Lawmakers were told that this time, Russia also plans to interfere with the Democratic presidential primaries. The plan includes attacking election infrastructure, per CNN, as well as hacking and weaponizing social media.
Trump was angry that the briefing was held, concerned that Democrats would use Russia's interference against him in the campaign. He was especially irked that Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff heard the intelligence officials' finding. Republicans at the briefing challenged the conclusion, saying Trump has been tough on Russia. "I'd challenge anyone to give me a real-world argument where Putin would rather have President Trump and not Bernie Sanders," Chris Stewart of Utah said in an interview later. In addition to securing Trump's reelection, the intelligence officials said, Russia wants to instill doubt about the integrity of the election. (Joking, Trump once told Putin not to meddle in US elections.)