Russia tried to influence U.S. elections in 2022 and will do it again, nation’s top intel agency says

Russia tried to influence U.S. elections in 2022 and will do it again, nation’s top intel agency says

CNBC News reports:

Russia conducted malign influence operations in the 2022 U.S. midterm elections and is using increasingly clandestine means to “penetrate the Western information environment,” the U.S. intelligence community said in a new report Wednesday.

Moscow will also work to “strengthen ties” to Americans in media and politics as it works to carry out “future influence operations,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in the latest edition of its annual assessment of worldwide threats to U.S. national security.

The 2023 report came four months after the most recent midterm elections, where concerns about Russian influence efforts were more muted in comparison with the two previous presidential election cycles in 2016 and 2020.

The intelligence community found that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in the 2016 election with a “clear preference” for then-candidate Donald Trump, who would go on to win that race.

Trump — who during that campaign had called on Russia to find his then-rival Hillary Clinton’s emails — later questioned whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election. During a meeting with Putin in 2018, Trump indicated that he believed the Russian leader’s claim that the Kremlin did not meddle in the 2016 race — essentially siding with Putin’s stance over his own intelligence community’s assessment. Trump later backtracked on those remarks.

Ahead of last November’s midterms, researchers reportedly identified Russian efforts to interfere by using social media accounts posing as Americans to stoke partisan anger and undermine trust in the electoral process. The FBI and the Department of Justice’s cybersecurity agency had warned ahead of the midterms that foreign actors were likely to try and spread disinformation before and after Election Day. [Continue reading…]

Comments are closed.