WASHINGTON, D.C. (KDKA) — Top intelligence leaders announced that both Iran and Russia have attempted to compromise the 2020 election.
“Know that our election systems are resilient,” said Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Wednesday night.
A strong message out the gate from Ratcliffe in a rare press briefing where he said part of the agency’s role in the election is to let voters know what information is true and false.
“We would like to alert the public that we have identified that two foreign actors, Iran and Russia, have taken specific action to influence public opinion when it comes to our election,” Ratcliffe said.
According to intelligence leaders, both countries obtained U.S. voter registration information. During the investigation, agents tracked spoofed emails, false videos and threatening messages from the group Proud Boys back to Iran.
“We are not going to tolerate foreign interference in our elections or any criminal activity that threatens the sanctity of your vote or public confidence in the outcome of the election,” said FBI Director Chris Wray.
Both directors said the activity was caught quickly by the FBI and DHS, and the United States will impose costs on any foreign country that interferes with the election.
“We are providing you with the most powerful weapon we have to combat these efforts. The truth. Information,” Ratcliffe said.
Intelligence leaders said Democratic voters in Pennsylvania have received some of this misinformation. But like those leaders, the Pennsylvania secretary of state wants to assure voters that each vote will count, including the absentee ballots.
“This is disinformation. This is a deliberate attempt out there to undercut voters’ confidence in their election. The truth is, Pennsylvanians have been voting absentee for decades,” said Sec. of State Kathy Boockvar.
Ratcliffe said the agency needs all Americans to do their part to help stop these efforts. If you get an email that appears to have false information, do not spread it. If you feel there is criminal activity, then report it to your local FBI office.