HOLLY, Mich. (WLNS/CBS) –– U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) released the following statement regarding Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe’s announcement on Iran and Russia’s attempts to interfere in the 2020 U.S. election.
Slotkin sent a letter to DNI Ratcliffe this month, regarding concerns around politicization of intelligence, and requesting Congressional briefings on foreign threats to the election before and after November 3rd.
“The DNI’s announcement yesterday that Iran and Russia sought to interfere in our political process confirms what has long been apparent,” Slotkin said. “While I remain confident that the threat of foreign impact on the machinery of our elections is low, they remain persistent and sadly effective in sowing distrust and division among the American people.”
Top intelligence officials announced Wednesday evening that Iran and Russia have taken actions to try to compromise the U.S. election and have obtained some voter registration data.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told reporters at a last-minute announcement that Iran had sent spoof emails “designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump.” He suggested that there had been reporting on these emails “within the last 24 hours.”
On Tuesday, CBS News reported that dozens of voters in a heavily Democratic county in Florida and across several states reported receiving emails that purportedly came from a right-wing group that threatened to “come after” them unless they voted for President Trump. \
Ratcliffe said Iran had also distributed other video content implying people could cast fraudulent ballots, “even from overseas.” The information in the video is not true, Ratcliffe emphasized, adding that Americans can be assured the election is secure.
“These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries,” he said.
In a statement provided Wednesday to CBS News, a spokesperson for Google said it was among an unspecified number of tech firms that “have seen evidence that an operation linked to Iran sent inauthentic emails to people in the U.S. over the past 24 hours.”
“Because the threat of misinformation and division is so great, clarity and transparency on these threats is critical in the coming days,” Slotkin continued. “That is why I sent a letter to DNI Ratcliffe asking him to brief Congress on the full spectrum of election threats, to allow briefings to Congress from career intelligence officials so we can have the unvarnished truth, and to provide public testimony, so that the American people –– not just people with security clearances –– can understand his analysis.”