Iran, Russia attempting to interfere in US election, officials say

Washington DC, Oct 21 (efe-epa).- Iran and Russia have obtained United States voter registration data to attempt to interfere in the November presidential election, the director of National Intelligence warned Wednesday.

“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,” John Ratcliffe said during a press conference 13 days before the polls.

Both Russia and Iran have obtained data from American voters, information that Tehran has already used to harm the campaign of President Donald Trump, according to Ratcliffe.

Iran has been sending “spoof emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump,” he said.

Ratcliffe also claimed that Tehran is distributing video content that implies that individuals could cast fraudulent ballots, something that he denied was true.

The National Intelligence director added that so far, there is no evidence that Russia has used the information it has obtained.

“These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries. Even if the adversaries pursue further attempts to intimidate or undermine voter confidence, know that our election systems are resilient. And you can be confident your votes are secure,” Ratcliffe said.

This press conference came after Democratic voters in states such as Florida and Pennsylvania received threatening emails in recent days claiming to be sent by the far-right Trump-supporting group Proud Boys.

The emails, which the US said were actually sent by Iran, warned recipients “we will come after you” if they didn’t vote for Trump.

At the same press conference, Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is in charge of ensuring electoral security, said that he will not tolerate “foreign interference” or “criminal activity” that threatens the vote or public confidence.

“We’re working closely with our intelligence community partners, as well as our other federal, state, and local partners, to share information, bolster security, and identify and disrupt any threats,” he said.

“We have been working for years as a community to build resilience in our election infrastructure – and today that infrastructure remains resilient. You should be confident that your vote counts,” said Wray. EFE-EPA


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