Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Wednesday both Iran and Russia have obtained US voter registration information in an effort to interfere in the election, including Iran posing as the far-right group Proud Boys to send intimidating emails to voters.
The emails appeared to come from a far-right pro-Trump group and were meant to “incite unrest“, National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said. These were sent to registered voters from “firstname.lastname@example.org” and warned recipients to “Vote for Trump or else!“.
“This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine your confidence in American democracy,” Ratcliffe said.
Both Iran and Russia denied the accusations of election interference.
“Iran’s strong rejection of American officials’ repetitive, baseless and false claims was conveyed to the Swiss ambassador [who represents US interests in Tehran],” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told state TV.
“As we have said before, it makes no difference for Iran who wins the US election,” he added.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the BBC: “We think this is unfortunate. These accusations come every day, they are all completely groundless, they are based on nothing.”
Democrats and a group of former intelligence officials have accused Ratcliffe, a former Republican congressman tapped to lead the intelligence community this year, of selectively declassifying intelligence in the run-up to the election to help Trump’s campaign, and Democrats on the Homeland Security Committee criticized him after the news conference.
- United Nations at 75 plagued by new crises and cash crunch
- Coronavirus: Clashes in Naples (Italy) over tightening restrictions
- US election 2020: How Trump has changed the world
- Sudan normalizes relations with Israel – the latest in a series of Arab League countries to do so
- Poland abortion ruling: Protests spread across the country