World News – GB – US Intelligence agencies claim Iran and Russia attempted to intervene in 2020 election


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said on Wednesday that Russia and Iran both tried to interfere with the 2020 presidential election

Ratcliffe made the announcements at a hastily organized press conference that also included FBI Director Chris Wray

The announcement two weeks before the election showed the level of alarm among early US officials that foreign actors were seeking to undermine American confidence in the integrity of the vote and spread disinformation with the aim to influence its result

« We have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran, and separately by Russia, » Ratcliffe said at the press conference

Most of those voter registrations are public But Ratcliffe said government officials « have seen Iran send spoofed emails intended to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and harm President Trump »

Ratcliffe was referring to emails sent on Wednesday designed to make it look like they came from pro-Trump group Proud Boys, government sources say

US Intelligence agencies previously warned that Iran could interfere to hurt Trump and that Russia was trying to help him in the election

Outside experts have said if Ratcliffe is right, Iran will try to portray Trump by drawing attention to the support and threats of the sometimes violent group

A spokesperson for Iran’s mission to the United Nations denied that Iran had sought to meddle with the US election

« Iran has no interest in meddling in the US election and no preference for the outcome, » spokesman Alireza Miryousefi said in a statement

US Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, who received a confidential election security briefing Wednesday afternoon, said he disagreed with Ratcliffe that Iran was specifically trying to harm to Trump

« It was clear to me that the intention of Iran in this matter and of Russia in many other cases was essentially to undermine confidence in our elections This action which I don’t believe was aimed at discrediting President Trump, « Schumer told MSNBC in an interview

White House spokesman Judd Deere said Trump had ordered government agencies « to proactively monitor and thwart any attempt to interfere in the US elections, and because of the great work of our law enforcement, we have put an end to the attempts of the American adversaries to undermine our elections « 

The emails are under investigation and an intelligence source said it was still unclear who was behind them

Another government source said US officials are investigating whether Iranians have hacked into a Proud Boys network or website to distribute threatening materials This source told US officials suspect the Iranian government of being involved but that the evidence remains inconclusive

Some of these emails also contained a video, debunked by experts, which purported to show how fake ballots could be submitted Ratcliffe said this claim was false

The second government source said that US authorities have evidence that Russia and Iran attempted to hack voter list data in unidentified states But the source added that as much of this election data is commercially available, the hack may have been aimed at avoiding payment

Reporting by Sarah N Lynch, Joseph Menn, Mark Hosenball, Lisa Lambert, Jason Lange and Michelle Nichols; written by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Kim Coghill and Michael Perry

All quotes have been delayed by at least 15 minutes See here for a full list of exchanges and delays

Donald Trump, Iran, United States Presidential Election, 2020, Russia, Federal Bureau of Investigation, John Ratcliffe

News from around the world – GB – US Intelligence agencies claim that Iran and Russia tried to intervene in 2020 elections


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