Intelligence Report Says 2 Countries Tried to Sway 2020 Election

But there is no sign Russia or Iran tried to hack voting systems, officials say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2021 3:58 PM CDT
Intelligence Report Says 2 Countries Tried to Sway 2020 Election
In this Nov. 4, 2020 photo, Chester County election workers scan mail-in and absentee ballots for the 2020 general election in the United States at West Chester University in West Chester, Pa.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Russia tried to boost Donald Trump's re-election chances and Iran tried to damage them, but there is no sign those countries or any others interfered with voting systems in the 2020 election, according to a newly declassified intelligence report. The report from the Director of National Intelligence states that intelligence officials determined Vladimir Putin authorized operations aimed at denigrating President Biden's candidacy and "undermining public confidence in the electoral process." "Russian state and proxy actors who all serve the Kremlin's interests worked to affect US public perceptions in a consistent manner," the report states. In what the New York Times sees as an apparent reference to Rudy Giuliani, the report states that Russia worked to influence people close to Trump and spread allegations of corruption involving Biden and his son Hunter.

The report states that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei authorized a " multi-pronged covert influence campaign" to damage Trump's re-election bid, "though without directly promoting his rivals." The report says officials determined that China considered meddling in the election but decided not to, though one cyberintelligence official disagreed, citing social media efforts, USA Today reports. Officials said that unlike in 2016, there were no efforts to attack election infrastructure, reports the AP. "We have no indications that any foreign actor attempted to interfere in the 2020 US elections by altering any technical aspect of the voting process, including voter registration, ballot casting, vote tabulation, or reporting results," the report states. (More Election 2020 stories.)

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