“Silly,” “ridiculous,”: Former intelligence officials are not impressed by the administration’s claim of election interference.
If Iran is trying to interfere, it’s not doing a very good job.
, the Senate’s top Democrat, told MSNBC Wednesday night that Ratcliffe’s spin was very different from the classified intelligence briefing that he’d earlier received about the spoofed email. The briefing stated that the emails were intended not so much to help one candidate or the other, but rather “to undermine confidence in [U.S.] elections.”
The email’s language bolsters this conclusion. We are “in possession of all your information,” the Iranian authors, pretending to be the Proud Boys, warn the letter’s recipients, before instructing them to change their party registration and vote for Trump. If voters believed a group like Proud Boys—a right-wing militia group whose members tend to support Trump and believe that Trump supports them—can gain access to voting records, and even know whom they voted for, they might just dismiss the whole process as corrupt and not vote at all.
Wray, who has behaved independently in his term as FBI director (so much so that Trump hasthreatened to fire himafter the election for not prosecuting his political foes), should be credited for making a larger point. “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,” he said in one of the rare moments when he spoke at all at the press conference. “When we see indications of foreign interference or federal election crimes, we’re going to aggressively investigate and work with our partners to quickly take appropriate action.”
Good to know. It would be better if we knew that the national intelligence director is going after Russian efforts to tilt the election as well.Support our 2020 coverage Read more: Slate »
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