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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"

Go deeper

The election security nightmare that wasn't

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As the dust settles on the 2020 presidential election, it's becoming clear that the process proved sturdy, with no known attacks on voting infrastructure and no 2016-style vast foreign meddling campaigns to disrupt American democracy.

Yes, but: The ongoing disinformation campaign from President Trump and his allies, as they refuse to accept his loss, illustrates that the country does not need outside intrusions to undermine the integrity of our elections.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.

GOP Sen. Rob Portman will not run for re-election, citing "partisan gridlock"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced Monday he will not run for a third term in the U.S. Senate in 2022, citing "partisan gridlock."

Why it matters: It's a surprise retirement from a prominent Senate Republican who easily won re-election in 2016 and was expected to do so again in 2022, creating an open Senate seat in a red-leaning swing state.