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FBI holds rare news conference on 'major election security' issue

Officials announce Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information
FBI holds holds press conference on 'major election security'
Posted at 2:48 AM, Oct 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-22 05:48:05-04

The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Iran and Russia have obtained voter data in their effort to interfere with the election. FBI Director Christopher Wray says, "We are not going to tolerate foreign interference in our elections, or any criminal activity that threatens the sanctity of your vote, or undermines public confidence in the outcome of the election."

Wray joined the National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe, in an unforeseen news conference held Wednesday night to alert the public that two foreign actors "have taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our elections. "

Ratcliffe says,"we have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran, and separately by Russia." Back in August, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a lengthy statement outlining efforts by foreign interferences, in an attempt to undermine this year s’ Presidential Election. And on Wednesday night Ratclifee described what he called “spoofed emails sent from Iran to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump.”

He says, "Additionally, Iran is distributing other content to include a video that implies that individuals can cast fraudulent ballots, even from overseas." Ratcliffee says this video and all claims are not true. He says, "These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries."And he adds that officials caught this activity immediately. He says they acted swiftly in response to this threat. Now warning people who receive the messages not to send them to anyone else and to call their local FBI office immediately.

And Ivy Cargile, who is a Political Science Professor at Cal State Bakersfield, says she understands how these emails could influence the election. She says, "If that’s hurting Donald Trump with some voters I can understand that. Nobody likes to be told what to do. Especially given that we argue left and right that we are a free Country." She says, “the biggest product we export across the world is democracy, but if we cant keep our own democracy safe then that’s very problematic."

Cargile is urging the public to always fact check, saying a lot of the misinformation that has gone on can lead to a lack of trust in our institutions. She adds, "and when people don’t trust the institutions that govern them, that can become dangerous."

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