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US Intelligence Says Russia & Iran Tried To Influence US Elections While China Declined

March 28th, 2021 13:34

The office of the US Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence has declas­si­fied and released its report titled “For­eign Threats to the 2020 Elec­tions” which con­clud­ed that while there were no indi­ca­tions of any for­eign inter­fer­ence in the actu­al elec­tion process­es, Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Putin did autho­rize a range of influ­ence oper­a­tions aimed at sup­port­ing Don­ald Trump, den­i­grat­ing Joe Biden, and fur­ther­ing divi­sive­ness in the US. Accord­ing to the report “Scope Note”:

This Intel­li­gence Com­mu­ni­ty Assess­ment (ICA), as required by Exec­u­tive Order (EO) 13848(l)(a), address­es key for­eign actors’ inten­tions and efforts to influ­ence or inter­fere with the 2020 US fed­er­al elec­tions or to under­mine pub­lic con­fi­dence in the US elec­tion process. It builds on analy­sis pub­lished through­out the elec­tion cycle and pro­vid­ed to Exec­u­tive Branch and Con­gres­sion­al lead­ers. This ICA does not include an assess­ment of the impact for­eign malign influ­ence and inter­fer­ence activ­i­ties may have had on the out­come ofthe 2020 elec­tion. The US Intel­li­gence Com­mu­ni­ty is charged with mon­i­tor­ing and assess­ing the inten­tions, capa­bil­i­ties, and actions of for­eign actors; it does not ana­lyze US polit­i­cal process­es or actors, elec­tion admin­is­tra­tion or vote tab­u­la­tion process­es, or pub­lic opinion.

The fol­low­ing are the reports “Key Judg­ments” which addi­tion­al­ly con­clude that while Iran car­ried out sim­i­lar elec­tion influ­ence cam­paigns, Chi­na ulti­mate­ly decid­ed not to deploy such efforts:

  • Kev Judg­ment 1: We have no indi­ca­tions that any for­eign actor attempt­ed to alter any tech­ni­cal aspect of the vot­ing process in the 2020 US elec­tions, includ­ing vot­er reg­is­tra­tion, cast­ing bal­lots, vote tab­u­la­tion, or report­ing results.
  • Kev Judg­ment 2: 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.
  • Kev Judg­ment 3: We assess that Iran car­ried out a mul­ti-pronged covert influ­ence cam­paign intend­ed to under­cut for­mer Pres­i­dent Trump’s reelec­tion prospects—though with­out direct­ly pro­mot­ing his rivals—undermine pub­lic con­fi­dence in the elec­toral process and US insti­tu­tions, and sow divi­sion and exac­er­bate soci­etal ten­sions in the US. We have high con­fi­dence in this assess­ment. We assess that Supreme Leader Khamenei autho­rized the cam­paign and Iran’s mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence ser­vices imple­ment­ed it using overt and covert mes­sag­ing and cyber operations.
  • Kev Judg­ment 4: We assess that Chi­na did not deploy inter­fer­ence efforts and con­sid­ered but did not deploy influ­ence efforts intend­ed to change the out­come of the US Pres­i­den­tial election.
  • Kev Judg­ment 5: We assess that a range of addi­tion­al for­eign actors—including Lebanese Hizbal­lah, Cuba, and Venezuela—took some steps to attempt to influ­ence the elec­tion. In gen­er­al, we assess that they were small­er in scale than the influ­ence efforts con­duct­ed by oth­er actors this elec­tion cycle.

Read the full report here.