March 5, 2018
Ahmed Younis was interviewed on NPR to discuss why the State Department hasn't spent any money to counter Russian election meddling:
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
Let's focus for a moment on two numbers. The first is 120 million. That is how many dollars have been allocated to the State Department to counter Russian and other foreign efforts to interfere in U.S. elections. The second number is zero. Zero dollars is how much of that money the State Department has, in fact, spent. And there's actually a third number critical to this story, which is this. According to The New York Times, not one of the 23 analysts working at State's Global Engagement Center - that's the center that's supposed to be countering Russia's influence campaign - not one of those 23 speaks Russian.
We've reached out to the former No. 2 at the center, Ahmed Younis. Hello there.
AHMED YOUNIS: Hello.
KELLY: Start here. How is the State Department's Global Engagement Center supposed to work? How is it supposed to be trying to counter Russian meddling?
YOUNIS: Well, its primary purpose is twofold - number one, to coordinate within the U.S. government the efforts that are happening as it relates to disinformation, propaganda and interference.