U.S. intelligence: Iran interfering with election in effort to hurt Trump

by Peter Heck · Oct 22nd, 2020 10:03 am

Last Updated Oct 23rd, 2020 at 1:55 pm

In a Wednesday press conference, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe revealed that Iran has been attempting to interfere with the upcoming U.S. election to hurt President Trump's chances at reelection. Ratcliffe said that the Islamic Republic has had its agents pose as a neo-Nazi group known as the "Proud Boys" and send threatening emails to Democrat voters.

The U.S. government found that a group of emails claiming to be the Proud Boys — a far-right group supportive of Trump — but were actually a deceptive, Iranian campaign using a vulnerability in the group's network.

Ratcliffe went on to reveal that U.S. intelligence has determined both Russia and Iran are in possession of "some voter registration information" and at least Iran appears to be attempting to use it in an effort to "intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump." Ratcliffe made clear that the foreign operations were not affecting U.S. "election systems," which he called "resilient."

"You can be confident your votes are secure," he said.

FBI Director Christopher Wray reaffirmed Ratcliffe's sentiments in comments made at the same briefing.

"We are not going to tolerate foreign interference in our elections or any criminal activity that threatens the sanctity of your vote or undermines public confidence in the outcome of the election," Wray said. "When we see indications of foreign interference or federal election crimes, we're gonna aggressively investigate and work with our partners to quickly take appropriate action."

National counterintelligence operations have been warning since summer that Iran seemed intent on undermining Trump's reelection efforts, and was determined to "divide the [United States] in advance of the 2020 elections."


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