Politics

US intelligence report says Russia attempted to interfere in 2020 election

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Thanksgiving on November 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump had earlier made the traditional call to members of the military stationed abroad through video teleconference. (Photo by Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images)

(CNN) — The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its declassified report on foreign threats to 2020 U.S. elections Tuesday, which concludes that foreign adversaries — including Russia — did attempt to interfere.

Russia’s efforts were 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 U.S.,” it says.

“Unlike in 2016, we did not see persistent Russian cyber efforts to gain access to election infrastructure,” the report notes.

The report also stated that there are “no indications that any foreign actor attempted to alter any technical aspect of the voting process in the 2020 U.S. elections, including voter registration, casting ballots, vote tabulation, or reporting results.”

That conclusion echoes what the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber arm said the day after the 2020 presidential election.

“Over the last four years, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has been a part of a whole-of-nation effort to ensure American voters decide American elections. Importantly, after millions of Americans voted, we have no evidence any foreign adversary was capable of preventing Americans from voting or changing vote tallies,” CISA said at the time.

The report also describes efforts by Iran and China to interfere in the elections.

“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 U.S. institutions, and sow division and exacerbate societal tensions in the U.S.,” it says.

“We assess that China did not deploy interference efforts and considered but did not deploy influence efforts intended to change the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election,” it adds.

“Foreign malign influence is an enduring challenge facing our country,” said Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines. “These efforts by U.S. adversaries seek to exacerbate divisions and undermine confidence in our democratic institutions. Addressing this ongoing challenge requires a whole-of-government approach grounded in an accurate understanding of the problem, which the Intelligence Community, through assessments such as this one, endeavors to provide.”

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