Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and FBI Director Christopher Wray announced Wednesday that Iran and Russia are working to undermine the integrity of the 2020 election.
“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 said during an evening press conference, following efforts by the intelligence and law enforcement communities to ensure the election is safe and secure.
According to Ratcliffe, Iran and Russia got their hands on U.S. voter registration information, enabling the foreign adversaries to send false information to registered voters as a means to sow chaos and confusion and undermine the public’s confidence in America’s electoral process.
“To that end, we have already seen Iran send spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump,” Ratcliffe said.
The foreign nations aren’t the only disseminators of false information. American groups including Never Trump operation the Lincoln Project served as Iran’s American digital foot soldiers, buying into the disinformation and amplifying it.
The FBI now confirms Iran sent these fake emails posing as 'Proud Boys' to help Joe Biden so @ProjectLincoln and other left wing accounts all spread Iranian disinformation meant to assist Biden. How do they feel about being Iran’s useful idiots? https://t.co/hQ4Mj2c8bL
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) October 21, 2020
After the Wednesday press conference, the Lincoln Project deleted its recent tweet, which claimed, “The Proud Boys are attempting to scare voters away from the polls.”
Disinformation is temporary, @ProjectLincoln, but screenshots?
They’re forever. pic.twitter.com/jLAZtnidqJ
— Kylee Zempel (@kyleezempel) October 22, 2020
“Media did exactly what Iran knew they would do. They assumed fake ‘Proud Boys’ e-mails were real, then used them to attack Trump,” a senior intelligence official told The Federalist in light of tonight’s announcement.
Following the announcement, mainstream media reporters, including PBS White House correspondent and MSNBC contributor Yamiche Alcindor, continued peddling the Iran line:
— AG (@AGHamilton29) October 22, 2020
“Some members of the media are doing Iran’s job for them in spite of literally just being warned not to,” the senior intelligence official told The Federalist.
Ratcliffe also noted that Iran is disseminating other content, including a video indicating that people, including people overseas, could cast fraudulent ballots. “This video and any claims about such allegedly fraudulent ballots are not true,” he said.
While Ratcliffe said the U.S. has not seen the same actions from Russia, that country also obtained the voter information. “These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries,” Ratcliffe said.
“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,” added FBI Director Wray.
These attempts by Iran and Russia, aided by the Lincoln Project, are occurring as Big Tech companies actively censor important information from voters, specifically, a bombshell New York Post report about corruption in the Biden family which detailed Hunter Biden’s alleged slimy foreign business deals during his father’s vice presidency. One full week after breaking the story and being censored by Big Tech, Twitter still has not unlocked the account of the New York Post, the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States, started by Alexander Hamilton.
Meanwhile, 2020 election voting is underway with an overwhelming number of voters receiving mail-in ballots. Attorney General William Barr, among many others, warned mass voting-by-mail, which is ripe for abuse and fraud, will also undermine the public’s confidence in the outcome of our election. It’s “reckless and dangerous,” Barr said. “We’re a very closely divided country here, and people have to have confidence in the legitimacy of the government.”