Thu. Aug 5th, 2021

Intelligence bulletin warns Russia amplifying false claims mail-in voting will lead to widespread fraud

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Washington (CNN)An intelligence bulletin issued by the Department of Homeland Security warns that Russia is attempting to sow doubt about the integrity of the 2020 elections by amplifying false claims that mail-in voting will result in widespread fraud, an assertion that has been repeatedly pushed by President Donald Trump, according to a congressional source with direct knowledge of the document who confirmed its veracity.

“We assess that Russia is likely to continue amplifying criticisms of vote-by-mail and shifting voting processes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to undermine public trust in the electoral process,” the bulletin, first reported by ABC News, reads. The warning comes one day after Attorney General Bill Barr condemned states for encouraging mail-in voting in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Barr also downplayed Russia’s well-documented attempts to help Trump in presidential elections, including in this election cycle, instead pointing the finger at China despite the fact intelligence agencies have not said Beijing is actively meddling in the election.

    News of the document prompted immediate criticism from the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Adam Schiff. “The new bulletin from the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis underscores two concerning facts: First, as the Intelligence Community confirmed last month, Russia is once again seeking to interfere in our elections and sow distrust in our democratic process. And second, among the range of measures it is pursuing, Russia is echoing destructive and false narratives around vote by mail that President Trump and his enablers, including Attorney General Barr, have been aggressively promoting,” Schiff said in a statement. Read More”This bulletin further demonstrates why the ODNI’s cancelation of in-person briefings on election security for Congress is so dangerous—Congress must be able to directly question and engage with the intelligence community professionals with the responsibility for protecting our elections from foreign interference,” he added. A committee official told CNN that Schiff has already requested a briefing about another DHS bulletin that was first reported on Wednesday by ABC, and asked specific questions of the Department as part of the committee’s ongoing investigation into the potential politicization of intelligence agencies.

      US intelligence officials and the Senate Intelligence Committee have made bolder assertions warning of the threat Russia poses this year after it hacked the Democrats in 2016 and ran social media influence operations during both the 2016 and 2018 elections.This story is breaking and will be updated.


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