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Senator Chris Coons "concerned" with Trump administration's lack of visible response to foreign election threats

Sen. Coons on COVID relief, election meddling
Sen. Coons on COVID relief, election meddling... 15:39

A senator from former Vice President Joe Biden's home state of Delaware is calling on the White House to be more proactive in efforts to secure the upcoming election. 

Democratic Senator Chris Coons said on CBSN Friday that he was not hearing "as much as [he] would like to" from the Trump administration after warnings from Microsoft about foreign-backed cyber attacks targeting the campaigns. 

"I've been concerned with the lack of a visible, public, coordinated response from the senior levels of the Trump administration," he told anchor Lana Zak.

Microsoft revealed Thursday that groups backed by Russia, China and Iran have launched attacks against the Trump and Biden campaigns, as well as other people and groups involved in the race. The company's corporate vice president of customer security and trust said in a blog post that the efforts signal that hostile foreign groups "have stepped up their efforts targeting the 2020 election." 

Coons, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said it had been "months" since senators received both "public and classified briefings" from former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Chris Wray.

"Both of whom were senior Trump administration officials, and who said before the pandemic that they expected Russia to be aggressive, engaged, and to really bring their best game and their top resources to trying to interfere in this presidential election," he said. 

The Democrat said he has faith in "career professionals" within the intelligence community who he said are "working hard' on stopping election interference efforts. 

However, when asked directly if he was worried the lack of a visible response from the Trump administration "might hurt Joe Biden's chances to be elected," he answered: "Yes."

Coons won the 2010 special election in Delaware to replace Joe Biden when he resigned to serve as vice president. Though they never served together, Coons became a close ally of the Democratic nominee, even being dubbed the "Biden whisperer" by Politico. 

He expressed hope for a bipartisan future under a potential Biden presidency, and that he could continue working with both Democrats and Republicans to lead the U.S. through recovery.

"I am hopeful that I can play a role as one of a group of senators that will bring to the table and get passed in the Senate with the leadership of Senator Schumer, bipartisan bills that can make a real difference," Coons said. "There's also a very robust agenda of foreign policy issues that have to be addressed where I look forward to playing a role."

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