US to sanction Russia and Iran over election meddling

US intelligence community report finds Russian government meddled in 2020 election.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

USA Elections
USA Elections
iStock

The US intelligence community said in a landmark report Tuesday that the Russian government meddled in the 2020 election with an influence campaign "denigrating" President Joe Biden and "supporting" former President Donald Trump, CNN reported.

Russia's objectives were not limited to hurting Biden's candidacy and aiding Trump's reelection bid, the report says, as US intelligence found that Moscow also sought to undermine "public confidence in the electoral process and exacerbate sociopolitical divisions in the US."

Overall, the report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence provides the most comprehensive assessment of foreign threats to the 2020 elections to date, detailing extensive influence operations by US adversaries, including Russia and Iran, that sought to undermine confidence in the democratic process, in addition to targeting specific presidential candidates.

The report said the most aggressive foreign attempt to "undercut" Trump came from Iran, but Iran didn't "actively" promote Biden, and their efforts were smaller than the Russian operation.

While the report concludes that multiple foreign adversaries did attempt to interfere, it also notes there are "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."

The Biden administration is expected to announce sanctions related to election interference as soon as next week, three US State Department officials told CNN.

The officials did not disclose any details related to the expected sanctions but said that they will target multiple countries including Russia, China and Iran.

Russia's efforts to influence the 2020 elections feature prominently in the report, which details how "proxies linked to Russian intelligence" were used to push unsubstantiated claims about Biden to into the American mainstream, according to CNN.

The report concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin was "aware of and probably directed" the operation to hurt Biden -- and give Trump a boost, much like he did in the 2016 election.

The report also describes how Iran carried out a "multi-pronged covert influence campaign" targeting the elections.

Specifically, the report says that Iran's efforts were "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."

China is also mentioned, but in a very different context than Russia and Iran.

"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," the report states.



top