Iran Caught Interfering in U.S. Election
FBI and DNI announce that U.S. voter registration data has been obtained by Iran and Russia.
On Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe held a press conference alerting the American people that both Iran and Russia have gained access to U.S. voter registrations. Furthermore, Iran has used this information to orchestrate an intimidation campaign against voters with the purpose of undercutting support for 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,” Ratcliffe stated. “First, we have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran and separately by Russia. This data can be used by foreign actors to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos, and undermine your confidence in American democracy.”
Ratcliffe further explained, “We have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump. … Additionally, Iran is distributing other content to include a video that implies that individuals could cast fraudulent ballots, even from overseas. This video and other claims about allegedly fraudulent ballots are not true. These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries. Although we have not seen the same actions from Russia, we are aware that they have obtained some voter information, just as they did in 2016. Rest assured that we are prepared for the possibility of actions by those hostile to democracy.”
Using the voter registration data it acquired, Iran, posing as the Proud Boys, sent intimidating emails to registered Democrat voters in Florida threatening to “come after” them if they did not vote for Trump. The Washington Post reported that at least three other states — Alaska, Arizona, and Pennsylvania — reported similar Iran-backed emails claiming to be the Proud Boys.
Back in August, National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NSCS) Director William Evanina warned of the threat Iran posed regarding election interference, specifically in its effort to undermine Trump. “We assess that Iran seeks to undermine U.S. democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country in advance of the 2020 elections,” Evanina stated. “Iran’s efforts along these lines probably will focus on on-line influence, such as spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-U.S. content. Tehran’s motivation to conduct such activities is, in part, driven by a perception that President Trump’s reelection would result in a continuation of U.S. pressure on Iran in an effort to foment regime change.”
Regarding the latest revelations, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) declared, “Clearly Iran was trying to be able to create this whole spin that somehow a racist organization is supporting President Trump and so trying to be able to hurt President Trump by trying to be able to put all of these things out there that they knew would be public to be able to get out there.”
It is clear that neither Iran nor Russia want four more years of Trump. That they are supporting Biden’s candidacy prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to declare: “I think we have to be very careful about any statements coming out about the election from the intelligence community at this time.”
Of course, the Leftmedia quickly set about to spin the narrative as evidence of the opposite, insisting as Democrats have done ever since Trump’s election that Russia was interfering on Trump’s behalf. Predictably, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rejected the notion that Iran’s intention was to damage Trump. “From the briefing,” he pontificated, “I had the strong impression it was much rather to undermine confidence in elections and not aimed at any particular figure.”
Moreover, The Washington Post took the opportunity to highlight not the efforts of Iran but the fringe Proud Boys group, painting it not as an innocent party in Iran’s election interference campaign but as a Trump-loving hate group. As much as the Leftmedia falsely spun Russian election interference in 2016 as being for the benefit of Trump, it will go out of its way to ignore and downplay any election interference from foreign actors that aim to support Biden.