Information about Russian and Iranian interference in the election process was confirmed by the heads of National Intelligence, the FBI, and the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“We have received confirmation that information about voter registration was received [separately] Iran and separately Russia,” Ratcliffe said during a hastily arranged press conference.
According to ABC News, Ratcliffe said that “Foreign countries may use this data in an attempt to pass false information to registered voters, which they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine people’s trust in American democracy.”
Intelligence chief also accused Iran of spreading fake content, including video, which the authors claim that some people “can send fake ballots even from abroad.”
“This video and any allegations of such allegedly falsified ballots are not true,” said Ratcliffe. “These actions are desperate attempts to [our] desperate opponents. Even if opponents continue to try to intimidate or undermine [voters’] confidence, rest assured that our electoral systems are resilient and that your votes are protected.”
Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray also issued a statement, assuring Americans that the FBI will not tolerate foreign interference in the election and warn Americans of any such attempts.
“If we see signs of foreign interference or crimes in the Federal election, we will conduct an aggressive investigation and work with our partners to take appropriate action,” Wray said,” you need to be sure that your vote matters. Early, unverified claims to the contrary should be viewed with a healthy degree of skepticism.”
This speech followed a joint statement by the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republican Marco Rubio, and his Deputy, Democrat Mark Warner, regarding election security.
“Our adversaries abroad seek to sow chaos and undermine voters’ faith in our democratic institutions, including the electoral systems and infrastructure that we rely on to… properly communicate the will of voters,” the statement said. “They may try to attack these systems or leave the impression that they are… manipulated these systems to undermine their credibility and our trust in them.”
Former senior homeland security official John Cohen told ABC News that recent events show that the authorities “are not doing enough to protect our election process.”
“Today, we learned that foreign organizations have gained access to voter registration information and sent intimidating emails to American voters to influence how they will vote,” Cohen said.
“The President needs to take this threat seriously and make efforts to stop the spread of Russian disinformation. He should tell his allies on Capitol Hill to stop chasing conspiracy theories and instead focus on protecting America from foreign attacks.”