Home / US / The FBI warns of foreign misinformation regarding the election results in November

The FBI warns of foreign misinformation regarding the election results in November

“The increased use of ballot papers due to COVID-19 protocols may give officials incomplete results on election night,” the agencies said in a statement, stressing the possibility that “foreign actors and cybercriminals” could use disinformation to “take advantage of the time required”. to certify and announce election results. ”

The warning follows news of a CIA assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his top aides “are aware of and likely target Russia’s influence operations” with a view to intervening in the 2020 election, according to a Washington Post report published on Tuesday. President Donald Trump and several Republican top allies have recently tried to overthrow China as the biggest threat to the election, although evidence continues to emerge that Russia is already intervening, as FBI Director Christopher Wray explicitly told lawmakers last week.
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The statement, released on Tuesday, called on Americans to obtain information from “reliable sources” such as official government election websites. The warning also said that Americans, when dealing with reports of problems with voting or results, should “verify about several reliable sources” and think twice before sharing unverified material on social media.

The agencies specifically said that foreign actors could try to confuse voters by creating and disseminating misinformation about “voter repression, cyber attacks targeting electoral infrastructure, voter or vote fraud” after the polls closed.

While the warning focused only on foreign misinformation, domestic actors have recently spread similar claims about the upcoming election results.

Trump has repeatedly lied about election fraud in US elections and questioned the legitimacy of the counting process. In addition, White House officials have ignored warnings from election officials about delayed results and have instead said there should be an expected winner on election night.
Relying on a misguided and misleading interpretation of how the US election is conducted, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said earlier this month that the Trump administration wants to see a presidential winner projected on election night in November.

“What we want election night to look like is a system that is fair, a situation where we know who the President of the United States is on election night. That is how the system should work. And that is ultimately what we are looking for. And what we “Hopefully,” McEnany said in a Fox News interview, in which she also criticized Democrats for increasing access to the ballot.

While a clear winner produced on election night is a modern tradition in American politics, and that is what many expect when looking at the results, it is not required by law and that is not what the system is designed to do.

This story has been updated with additional background information and context.

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