Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray testifies earlier than the House Homeland Security Committee throughout a listening to about ‘worldwide threats to the homeland’ in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 17, 2020.
Chip Somodevilla | Pool | Reuters
WASHINGTON — FBI Director Christopher Wray warned lawmakers Thursday that Russia is actively interfering in the upcoming U.S. presidential election by spreading misinformation about Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Wray described Russian efforts as a “steady drumbeat of misinformation” that he stated may undercut American voters’ confidence in the democratic course of.
“I think the intelligence community’s consensus is that Russia continues to try to influence our elections,” Wray told the Democratic-led House Homeland Security Committee, including that the FBI discovered similarities in Russian conduct towards the backdrop of the 2016 election.
U.S. intelligence businesses have concluded that Moscow acted to undermine then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton so as to assist then-Republican nominee Donald Trump throughout the 2016 presidential election. Trump and Russia deny that Moscow’s involvement affected the end result in 2016.
“We certainly have seen very active efforts by the Russians to influence our election in 2020 through what I would call more the malign foreign influence side of things like social media, use of proxies, state media, online journals,” Wray stated, including that the Russians are notably centered on smearing Biden as a result of they view him as “kind of an anti-Russian establishment.”
The newest warning comes lower than 50 days earlier than Election Day, though voters have already begun voting early by way of mail and different means. On Thursday, Trump bristled at the mail-in poll course of on Twitter saying “the Nov. 3rd election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED.”
“Another election disaster yesterday. Stop Ballot Madness!,” Trump tweeted.
In August, the nation’s prime U.S. counterintelligence official warned in a uncommon public assertion that Russia, China and Iran have been all attempting to influence the Nov. 3 election by way of a slew of strategies.
“Foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters’ preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people’s confidence in our democratic process,” William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, stated in an Aug. 7 statement.
“They may also seek to compromise our election infrastructure for a range of possible purposes, such as interfering with the voting process, stealing sensitive data, or calling into question the validity of the election results,” the assertion added.