U.S. intelligence officials say that Russia poses a far bigger threat to election security than Iran and will likely try to interfere during election week and after, to help Donald Trump.
In recent days, Russia has breached state and local computer networks, which “could allow Moscow broader access to American voting infrastructure.” Following the election, officials believe, Russia plans to aid the Republican party in disputing the results if Trump is not the winner.
American officials expect that if the presidential race is not called on election night, Russian groups could use their knowledge of local computer systems to deface websites, release nonpublic information or take similar steps that could sow chaos and doubts about the integrity of the results, according to American officials briefed on the intelligence.The New York Times
Some members of the intelligence community also warn that National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe is downplaying the significance of Russia’s planned interference, but they offer no specific actions Russia plans to take.
Four months after the election, the intelligence community releases a detailed report on Russia’s interference.
We assess that Russian President Putin authorized, and a range of Russian government organizations conducted, influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the US. Unlike in 2016, we did not see persistent Russian cyber efforts to gain access to election infrastructure.
A key element of Moscow strategy this election cycle was its use of proxies linked to Russian intelligence to push influence narratives–including misleading or unsubstantiated allegations against President Biden–to US media organizations, US officials, and prominent US individuals, including some close to former President Trump and his administration.National Intelligence Council
Photo: Unknown, obtained via Sky News