Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D- Conn.) called on the Trump administration to declassify intelligence detailing Russian efforts to influence the 2020 elections, telling MSNBC on Sunday that the classified briefing lawmakers received about the Kremlin's activities last week was "absolutely chilling."

The big picture: National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina said in a statement Friday that the Russian government is "using a range of measures" to "denigrate" Joe Biden ahead of the election. China and Iran would prefer that Trump is defeated, according to Evanina.

Driving the news: Blumenthal suggested in a Washington Post op-ed Saturday that Sen. Ron Johnson's (R-Wis.) investigation into Joe Biden and his son's activities in Ukraine may be laundering Russian disinformation, citing a report that Johnson had been provided with tapes by a Ukrainian lawmaker whose father was a KGB agent.

  • Johnson has denied allegations that he is amplifying Russian disinformation, saying in a statement to the Post: “I will not be deterred by these despicable tactics designed to discredit a legitimate investigation. It only increases my curiosity: What do they know that we might uncover?"
  • Top Democrats in the House and Senate have called for the FBI to provide Congress with a "defensive briefing" regarding what appears to be a "concerted foreign interference campaign" targeting Congress.

What he's saying: "The information that I heard in this classified setting, where we're sworn to secrecy, is absolutely chilling, startling and shocking," Blumenthal said.

  • "The American people need and deserve to know it. It comes from intelligence sources that we are now barred from revealing. But the next step really is for the Trump administration to declassify it to make it available. "
  • The intelligence suggests "that the past Soviet, or Russian techniques, are looking like child's play compared to what they're doing now globally," he added.

Go deeper: Pelosi says election threats from China and Russia are "not equivalent"

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Sep 23, 2020 - World

H.R. McMaster: Trump "making it easy" for Putin on U.S. election misinformation

Former National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster in Washington, D.C., in 2018. Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

H.R. McMaster told CNN Tuesday evening President Trump and other U.S. leaders are "making it easy" for Russian President Vladimir Putin to peddle conspiracy theories on the U.S. election and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

What he's saying: "It's just wrong ... it's really important for leaders to be responsible about this because, really, as you know Putin doesn't create these divisions in our society, he doesn't create these doubts, he magnifies them," Trump's former national security adviser told CNN's Jake Tapper.

Alexei Navalny released from hospital after one month

Photo: Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Russian activist Alexei Navalny was released from a German hospital on Wednesday after 32 days of treatment for Novichok poisoning, per the AP.

Why it matters: It is widely suspected that Russian state operatives took part in poisoning Navalny while on a domestic flight. Novichok is a Soviet-era poison often attributed to Russian security services, and Navalny is one of President Vladimir Putin's most outspoken critics.

  • Navalny was kept in a medically induced coma for two weeks after being poisoned. Doctors say it is too soon to know if he will face any long-term side effects from the nerve agent.

FBI: Foreign actors likely to sow disinformation about delays in election results

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency released a public service announcement on Tuesday warning that mail-in ballots "could leave officials with incomplete results on election night," and that foreign actors are likely to spread disinformation about the delays.

The bottom line: The agencies called on the public to "critically evaluate the sources of the information they consume and to seek out reliable and verified information from trusted sources," including state and local election officials.