Senate Intel leadership urges American vigilance amid foreign election interference

The top Republican and Democratic lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday urged Americans to be vigilant in the face of disinformation after the FBI confirmed efforts by Iran and Russia to spread disinformation ahead of the Nov. 3 elections. 

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Committee acting Chairman Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning Trump’s new interest in water resources — why now? Senate Intel leadership urges American vigilance amid foreign election interference MORE (R-Fla.) and Vice Chairman Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate Intel leadership urges American vigilance amid foreign election interference Intel officials say Iran, Russia seeking to influence election Senate Intel leaders warn of election systems threats MORE (D-Va.) issued a joint statement following the announcement by top intelligence officials Wednesday night that Iran had perpetrated a predatory disinformation campaign aimed at intimidating and threatening American voters. 

“It is clear that Iran is now actively seeking to sow dissent and divide us, much like Russia did in 2016 and continues to do today,” Rubio and Warner said in a joint statement.


In a joint press conference Wednesday night, Director of National Intelligence John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeBiden: Countries that interfere in U.S. elections will ‘pay a price’ Biden swipes at Trump ally Giuliani at debate: He’s ‘being used as a Russian pawn’ Mistakes made by Iranian hackers tied them to threatening emails targeting US voters: report MORE and FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed that Iran and Russia had obtained voter registration information and attempted to use it to influence public opinion, spread false information, cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine the upcoming elections. 

In particular, Ratcliffe said Iranian actors had sent “spoofed” emails to intimidate voters, “incite social unrest and damage President TrumpDonald John TrumpMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: ‘I would transition from the oil industry’ MORE.” 

The top lawmakers on the Intelligence panel on Thursday urged Americans and the media “to be skeptical of sensationalist, last-minute claims about election infrastructure” and made a bipartisan show of force as a warning against any foreign actors aiming to interfere in the U.S. elections.  

“Republicans and Democrats are united when we say that continued attempts to sow dissent, cast doubt on election results, or disrupt our election systems and infrastructure will necessitate a severe response,” Rubio and Warner said.