The US said Wednesday that Russia and Iran were attempting to influence the Nov. 3 presidential election, accusing the latter of sending “spoofed emails” to damage President Donald Trump.
“We would like to alert the public that we have identified that two foreign actors, Iran and Russia, have taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our elections,” National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said during a press briefing along with FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Ratcliffe said Russia and Iran have separately obtained certain voter registration information which he said can be used by foreign actors to try to communicate false information to voters that they hope will “cause confusion and undermine your confidence in American democracy.”
“We have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump,” he said. “You may have seen some reporting on this in the last 24 hours, or you may have even been one of the recipients of those emails.”
He also accused Iran of “distributing other content to include a video that implies that individuals could cast fraudulent ballots even from overseas.”
“This video and any claims about such allegedly fraudulent ballots are not true,” Ratcliffe said.
Wray said there is coordination with the private sector and US election infrastructure remains strong against any interference.
“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,” he added.
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