WASHINGTON– The FBI says it has learned that Russia and Iran “have taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our elections.”
At a news conference Wednesday night, the Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe says the countries have obtained “some” voter registration information that can be used to “attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, chaos and undermine your confidence in American democracy”.
Ratcliffe says they have already seen Iran sending fraudulent emails in an attempt to “intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump”.
Additionally, he says Iran is distributing a video that implies people can cast fake ballots even overseas, which is untrue.
“These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries,” Ratcliffe said. “know that our election systems are resilient and you can be confident your votes are secure”.
He says Russia has obtained some voter information “just like they did in 2016.”
Ratcliffe says the activity was caught “immediately.”
“We are standing before you now to give you the confidence that we are on top of this and providing you with the most powerful weapon we have to combat these efforts:The truth. Information,” Ratcliffe said.
FBI Director Christopher Wray says they’re working with technology and social media companies to make sure they’re not being used to spread disinformation and propaganda.
“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,”
Officials say if you receive an intimidating or manipulative email, don’t be alarmed and don’t spread it.
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