Lawmaker Wants Russian Hacking Studied in California Schools

SACRAMENTO (CN) – Taking a dig at President-elect Donald Trump, a California lawmaker said Tuesday that schools should be required to teach students about “Russian interference” in the 2016 presidential election.

The latest Trump-inspired jab by state Democrats came from Bay Area Assemblyman Marc Levine, who said the overwhelming evidence pointing to Russian-led hacking should be expounded in state classrooms.

“The work of 17 intelligence agencies, including the FBI and CIA, confirmed Russian interference in our election. This is a threat to our democracy and must be treated with appropriate significance in American history,” Levine said in a statement.

Under Levine’s proposal, the California Board of Education would be required to create a history curriculum that includes the alleged Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee servers, and other actions taken to sway momentum from Hillary Clinton to Trump during the campaign.

Levine’s bill aligns with the U.S. intelligence community’s assertion that Russian hackers did indeed interfere in the 2016 election. James Clapper, director of national intelligence, told Congress on Jan. 5 that Russia’s top officials authorized interference in the presidential election, but fell short of changing actual vote tallies.

Congressional leaders have called for a deeper investigation into Russia’s involvement, while Trump has continued to say the hacking had no effect on his landmark win.

Levine says legislators must dictate classroom curriculum to ensure that students from California and other states learn of the Russian government’s meddling in U.S. politics.

“California is the largest textbook market in the nation. Textbooks approved in our state are used throughout the country,” Levine said. “Through this legislation, we can make sure students in California and across the United States receive accurate information about the 2016 presidential election.”

A copy of the bill was not available Tuesday evening; it is pending referral to its first Assembly policy committee.

Trump has been on the minds of California Democrats since the legislative session began in December. The state’s majority party has passed niggling symbolic motions, introduced a horde of Trump-related bills and preemptively tagged former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to help them ward off the administration’s expected immigration and environmental policy shifts.

State Senate leader Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles, has proposed a bill that would bar state and local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal immigration agents, and has accused Trump of appointing a Cabinet full of “bullies, bigots and billionaires.”

State Democrats also hope to stem the “fake news” phenomenon by teaching students to become more media-literate. Last week Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, introduced a bill calling for students to be taught “civic online reasoning” courses, to help them spot political propaganda, such as that which infiltrated social media websites throughout the election campaign.

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