US Director of National Intelligence John Ratliffe and FBI Director Christopher Wray announced that Iran and Russia have both taken actions to interfere in the upcoming election in an effort to damage President Trump. Ratliffe is the overall director of and spokesman for the many U.S. intelligence agencies.
This announcement, coming just days before the election, demonstrates the level of alarm among top U.S. officials that foreign nations have attempted to spread misinformation in an attempt to influence its outcome. They have also tried to undermine citizen's confidence in the integrity of the vote. Russia has tried to interfere in every U.S. election in the last several decades, sometimes to assist Socialist candidates, other times to just cause confusion. But this is the first time we have seen Iran join them.
Ratliffe led off the news conference on Wednesday. “We would like to alert the public that two foreign actors - Iran and Russia - have taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our elections. We have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran, and separately, by Russia. This is not a partisan issue. I've had conversations today with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, and there is complete unanimity in our resolve to combat the enemies of freedom.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray also spoke. “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. We've been working for years to build resilience in our election infrastructure, and today that infrastructure remains resilient. You should be confident that your vote counts. Early unverified claims to the contrary should be viewed with healthy dose of skepticism.”
Just before the Intel Community’s news conference, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, the top officials of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sent a statement to reporters. “Our adversaries abroad seek to sow chaos and undermine voters’ belief in our democratic institutions, including the election systems and infrastructure that we rely on to record and properly report expressions of the voters’ will,” it said, in part. “As we enter the last weeks before the election, we urge every American – including members of the media – to be cautious about believing or spreading unverified, sensational claims related to votes and voting.”
During the news conference, Ratliffe said that government officials “have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump.” Another government source said U.S. authorities have evidence that Russia and Iran had tried to hack into voter roll data in unidentified states.
Ratliffe was referring to emails sent Wednesday and designed to look like they came from pro-Trump groups, according to reliable government sources. U.S. intelligence agencies had previously warned that Iran might interfere to hurt Trump. Experts commented that if Ratliffe was correct, Iran could be trying to make Trump look bad because of his tough stand against Iranian terrorism and its support for proxy groups that have murdered U.S. service members. In addition, they have never forgiven him for trashing the Obama/Biden nuclear deal that would have guaranteed that Iran would have a nuclear bomb within ten years.
Russia's motivation is obvious. No U.S. President has stood against Russian aggression as strongly as has Trump. Obama and Biden stood by as Russia invaded Ukraine and seized much of the nation. As the small nations begged for support, Biden - whom Obama had put in charge of the "Ukraine situation" - denied them the weapons they so desperately needed, and sent them blankets and outdated C-rations.
That's what makes the Democrats repeated claims that Russia interfered in 2016 on behalf of Trump so ridiculous. Anyone who thinks that Vladimir Putin would prefer Trump as president has no clue how the world works. There is no question that Russia tried to interfere in the election, as they do every four years. But if you were Putin, who would you prefer to see in the White House. A Socialist like Hillary Clinton, who was the weakest Secretary of State in recent memory? Or a tough leader like Trump who had made it clear that if he were elected, Russia and other bullies would no longer walk all over the United States?
While it is true that some members of the Intel Community supported the Democrats' claims, we should not forget who was in charge at that time. Obama and Biden corrupted the intelligence agencies to the point where they covered up for Hillary Clinton’s crimes and lied repeatedly to the Intelligence (FISA) Courts. They falsified intelligence, lied to Congress, and spied on the Trump campaign, and continued illegally spy on him after he was elected. The Obama-Biden Justice Department was no better. Top officials there not only condoned the illegal activities of FBI agents but encouraged and aided them. Emails and text messages proved that when Trump said he was being spied upon – and he was ridiculed for saying so – he was right all along.
Fortunately, the Trump Administration has cleaned up the Justice Department and Intelligence and the Intelligence Community. The most corrupt officials have been fired, and hopefully will be prosecuted. Others have gone underground, and are keeping their views to themselves, hoping to avoid the same fate as James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and adulterers and co-conspirators Peter Strzock and Lisa Page.
John Ratliffe and Christopher Wray seem to be decent men and patriots. Hopefully, they will be able to rebuild the trust in our intelligence services that Obama and Biden almost completely destroyed. And hopefully, they will be able to foil the attempts of the hostile nations who are attempting to oust Trump and place a Socialist more to their liking in the most powerful job in the world.
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