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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.

Minnesota governor denounces alleged police violence against media

Law enforcement officers pepper spray freelance photographer Tim Evans (L) as he identifies himself a working journalist outside the Brooklyn Center police station on Friday. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Gov. Tim Walz (D) spoke out Sunday over allegations that journalists covering unrest in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center have endured police violence, telling CBS Minnesota: "Apologies are not enough, it just cannot happen."

Why it matters: Since violations of press freedoms came to national attention last year, with reports of journalists being arrested and assaulted while covering anti-racism protests, violent encounters with law enforcement seem to have become the norm.

6 hours ago - World

In photos: Students evacuated as wildfire burns historic Cape Town buildings

Firefighters try, in vain, to extinguish a fire in the Jagger Library, at the University of Cape Town, after a forest fire came down the foothills of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday. Photo: Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

A massive wildfire spread from the foothills of Table Mountain to the University of Cape Town Sunday, burning historic South African buildings and forcing the evacuation of 4,000 students, per Times Live.

The big picture: Visitors to the Table Mountain National Park and other nearby attractions were also evacuated and several roads including a major highway, were closed. South Africa's oldest working windmill and the university's Jagger Library, which houses SA antiquities, were among the buildings damaged.