US presidential election: Russia and Iran obtained information on electoral rolls, intelligence director says

Moscow and Tehran “have taken specific actions to influence public opinion in connection with our election,” US intelligence director Jhon Ratcliffe said on Wednesday.

Threatening messages, sent to some voters. The US intelligence director accused Russia and Iran on Wednesday (October 21) of having got their hands on the data of American voters, and of having taken actions to influence them in the run-up to the election presidential, Tuesday, November 3.

Moscow and Tehran “took specific actions to influence public opinion in connection with our election (…) We were able to confirm that information on the electoral rolls had been obtained by Iran and, separately, by Russia”John Ratcliffe said at a press conference.

This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to give false information to registered voters, which they hope will create confusion and chaos and undermine confidence in American democracy. John Ratcliffe, Director of US Intelligenceduring a press conference

The announcement was made after Democratic voters said they had received threatening emails addressed to them personally on behalf of the “Proud Boys”, a far-right group. The messages ordered them to vote for Donald Trump. “We are in possession of all your information. You are currently registered as a Democrat and we know that because we have access to the entire electoral infrastructure.”, said one of those emails. “You are going to vote Trump on election day, or you will be dealing with us”.

Donald Trump’s pet peeve Iran also sent emails, says chief intelligence officer “aimed at intimidating voters, inciting social unrest and harming President Trump.” Tehran released a video suggesting that people could send fraudulent ballots, including from abroad, said John Ratcliffe.

The latter and FBI Director Christopher Wray did not say how Moscow might have used the data, or how Russia and Iran got their hands on the information. Christopher Wray was keen to ensure that the American electoral system remained secure and “resistant”.

According to US intelligence agencies, Russia interfered in the 2016 US election for the benefit of Donald Trump, whose campaign team was accused of colluding with Moscow.

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