Tillerson Spent $0 of $120 Million to Counter Election Meddling

The State Department was allocated $120 million in late 2016 to counter foreign efforts to meddle in elections and has yet to spend any of that money, according to The New York Times. None of the departments 23 analysts at the Global Engagement Center, which is tasked with addressing Russias disinformation campaign, speaks Russianand the hiring freeze imposed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has hindered efforts to recruit the computer experts needed to track the Russian efforts. According to the Times, many of the centers leaders are also working in temporary assignments due to Tillersons halting of promotions, a step toward drastically shrinking the department. Congress also directed the Pentagon to give the State Department $60 million to counter anti-democratic propaganda by Russia and China at the end of Obamas second term, but Tillerson took seven months to decide to take the money and took only $40 million of the allocated funds in the following fiscal year. The Times report comes after the secretary told Fox News in February that Russias disinformation campaign is difficult to pre-empt and If its their intention to interfere, theyre going to find ways to do that.

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