In an interview Wednesday with MSNBC's Ali Velshi, former intelligence official Malcolm Nance warned that the Russians could hack the 2018 midterm elections, setting the stage for a "civil war."
ALI VELSHI, MSNBC: I'm joined by Malcolm Nance, with more than 30 years experience in I.S. Intelligence. Also the author of "The Plot To Hack America: How Putin's cyberspies and WikiLeaks tried to steal the 2016 election."
Malcolm, on what date was your book published?
MALCOLM NANCE: September 23rd, 2016.
VELSHI: How interesting.
NANCE: Before the election.
VELSHI: How interesting. Because we talk about this all of the time on this network. You have written about this. It is -- you're coming into 18 months since you've written a book. And the government is now going to think about telling people that the Russians might try to interfere in the mid-term elections. Why don't we start with the president acknowledging that the Russians interfered in the 2016 elections?
NANCE: That is a very good question. Because the constitution requires him to protect and defend the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. We have clearly identified that the Russians hacked the election. They also did more than just -- they didn't hack the votes, they did something bigger and better, they hacked the mindset of the American public, by using WikiLeaks and the news media to bring up one word into the mind of the American public and that word was "E-mails," and so long as anybody heard the word e-mails, they associated that with nefarious activity, even though nothing was found to be nefarious. That being said, the Russians could easily attack us this year in a very broad-based cyber warfare operation just like they did in 2016.
VELSHI: So here is the other part of this thing. Tillerson said that if it is their intention to interfere, they are going to find ways to do it, we could take steps but once they decide they're going to do it, it is very difficult to preempt it. You seem to think otherwise. That we have information -- that Democrats in Congress wrote a 260-page report about this stuff. There are many things we can do.
NANCE: You're absolutely right. And that Democratic report on active measures is brilliant. It is almost an encyclopedic document showing how Russia uses this methodology when they want to interfere in elections. The reason the Russians are doing it because they can get away with it. They know that democracy is slower than a dictatorship. And that our elected officials, half of them are with the president.
They refuse to believe it in the face of evidence. If it was a terrorist attack with a bomb, they would be doing everything that they could to protect the people. However, this particular election that is coming up is a midterm, and right now we see that there is a possibility that the Democrats may turn out more than Republicans. The Russians might this time actually play with the voting totals if there is a wave election and that would throw the entire election into doubt. And would essentially set the pace for civil war and that is what the Russians are looking for. Chaos is their principal weapon system here.