“We have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran, and separately by Russia,” Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a press conference on Wednesday (Oct 21) evening.
“This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to convey misinformation.”
“We ask every American to do their part to defend against those who wish us harm,” Ratcliffe said. “Do not allow these efforts to have their intended effect.”
Ratcliffe, who was joined by FBI Director Christopher Wray, said Iran aimed to damage President Donald Trump’s re-election effort.
“We have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump,” he said.
US intelligence agencies have previously said that, as in 2016, Russia sought to interfere to help Trump.
In a joint statement, Marco Rubio, the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Mark Warner, the panel’s top Democrat, said: “Our adversaries abroad seek to sow chaos and undermine voters’ belief in our democratic institutions, including the election systems and infrastructure that we rely on to record and properly report expressions of the voters’ will.”
Just before Ratcliffe and Wray announced the threat to the Nov 3 election, the Washington Post reported that Trump is considering firing Wray after the election. Trump has faulted Wray for not providing fuel for the president’s contention that anti-Trump bias drove the FBI’s investigation into whether anyone involved in his 2016 campaign colluded in Russia’s interference.