Smelling disaster in the air for the upcoming November elections, Senate Democrats are rolling out accusations of possible Russian interference, laying the groundwork for an excuse if they get hammered at the polls.
17 Democrat senators, led by former Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Jack Reed (D-RI) sent a letter to the highest-ranking national security officials of the Biden administration warning of Russian meddling in the 2022 elections.
“As the Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to an increase in Russian disinformation and warnings of potential cyberattacks, we urge you to ensure that your agencies are prepared to quickly and effectively counter Russian influence campaigns targeting the 2022 elections,” the senators wrote to the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, the director of the FBI, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the National Security Agency, and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command,
The letter referred to “experts” who “have warned that the increase in Russian disinformation and cyber threats creates a security concern for U.S. elections.”
After citing confirmed Russian interference in 2016, 2018, and 2020 American elections, the senators wrote, “With primaries underway for the 2022 midterm election cycle and ongoing preparations for the November general election, it is vital that the federal government does everything in its power to ensure the integrity of our elections against foreign threats.”
The letter made no mention of Iran’s interference in the 2020 election in order to hurt the chances of former President Trump; that fact was part of a report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released in March 2021. The report, which also cited Russian interference, stated:
We assess that Iran carried out a multi-pronged covert influence campaign intended to undercut former President Trump’s reelection prospects … We assess that Supreme Leader Khamenei authorized the campaign and Iran’s military and intelligence services implemented it using overt and covert messaging and cyber operations.
NEW: @ODNIgov releases unclassified report on attempted election interference in 2020 election… TAKEAWAYS
— Russia tried to undercut Biden
— Iran tried to undercut Trump
— China attempted no influence campaigns
— No attempts to alter "any technical aspect of the
voting process" pic.twitter.com/kxzCqQ6F7H
— Christian Datoc (@TocRadio) March 16, 2021
The same ODNI report concluded that China had not interfered in the 2020 election, although influence efforts were strongly considered by the communist regime. An August 2020 Trump administration statement from William Evanina, Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, had opined:
We assess that China prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win reelection. China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China.