Countering Trump, US Officials Defend Integrity of Election
WASHINGTON (AP) — Four weeks ahead of Election Day, senior national security officials provided fresh assurances about the integrity of the elections in a video message Tuesday, putting them at odds with President Donald Trump’s efforts to discredit the vote.
“I’m here to tell you that my confidence in the security of your vote has never been higher,” Chris Krebs, the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said in the video message. “That’s because of an all-of-nation, unprecedented election security effort over the last several years.”
The video appeared to be aimed at soothing jangled nerves of voters ahead of an election made unique by an expected surge in mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic. Though Trump was not mentioned during the nine-minute video, the message from the speakers served as a tacit counter to his repeated efforts, including in last week’s presidential debate, to allege widespread fraud in the mail ballot process and to preemptively cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election.
The video was released as U.S. officials have revealed ongoing foreign efforts to interfere in the election, including Russian attempts to denigrate Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. A recent blog post by Microsoft described election-related hacking attempts by Russian, Chinese and Iranian agents.
William Evanina, the U.S. government’s chief counterintelligence official, said in Tuesday’s video that foreign adversaries are spreading disinformation, engaging in influence operations, conducting cyber activities with the intent of gaining access to election infrastructure and trying to collect derogatory information on candidates, campaigns and prominent Americans.
“Despite these nefarious efforts, our election system remains resilient,” said Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center. “To be clear, it would be very difficult for adversaries to interfere with or manipulate voting results at scale.”
The officials conceded that the Nov. 3 election will be different than past ones because of the millions of Americans expected to vote by mail. But they offered no support for the idea that mail-balloting will be tainted by fraud or foreign interference as they detailed the steps their agencies are taking to safeguard the vote.
“No matter which method you choose, your voice is important,” said FBI Director Chris Wray. “Rest assured that the security of the election, and safeguarding your vote is, and will continue to be one of our highest priorities,” Wray said.
In an acknowledgment that the tallying of election results may be delayed not by fraud but for legitimate reasons, Krebs said the outcome of the vote may not be known on Nov. 3 — “and that’s OK. But we’re going to need your patience until official results are announced.”
The four officials described the work of their respective agencies in countering foreign interference and influence operations, with Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, describing efforts to “hunt” adversaries in cyberspace, attribute particular malicious software to individual culprits and impose costs for attacks.
In The News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats in the House appear on the verge of advancing President Joe Biden’s $1.85 trillion-and-growing domestic policy package alongside... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats in the House appear on the verge of advancing President Joe Biden’s $1.85 trillion-and-growing domestic policy package alongside a companion $1 trillion infrastructure bill in what would be a dramatic political accomplishment — if they can push it to passage. The House scrapped votes... Read More
TRENTON, N.J. —The nail biter is over. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has been elected to a second term in... Read More
TRENTON, N.J. —The nail biter is over. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has been elected to a second term in the state’s highest office. As of Thursday morning, the Democratic incumbent was leading Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli by 37,293 votes, with 91% of the state’s election... Read More
ROME (AP) — President Joe Biden wrapped up his time at the Group of 20 summit on Sunday trying to... Read More
ROME (AP) — President Joe Biden wrapped up his time at the Group of 20 summit on Sunday trying to convince Americans and the wider world that he's got things under control — and taking Russia, China and Saudi Arabia to task for not doing enough... Read More
DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge is considering whether to order financial penalties or other sanctions against some of former... Read More
DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge is considering whether to order financial penalties or other sanctions against some of former President Donald Trump's lawyers who signed onto a lawsuit last year challenging Michigan's election results. The lawsuit alleging widespread fraud was voluntarily dropped after a judge... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A powerful congressional committee is beginning an investigation into reports the Justice Department secretly subpoenaed information about members... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A powerful congressional committee is beginning an investigation into reports the Justice Department secretly subpoenaed information about members of Congress and journalists during the Trump administration. The committee’s chairman said he was concerned the Justice Department “used criminal investigations as a pretext to spy... Read More
ATLANTA (AP) — Amber McReynolds, CEO of The National Vote at Home Institute, helped state and local election officials prepare... Read More
ATLANTA (AP) — Amber McReynolds, CEO of The National Vote at Home Institute, helped state and local election officials prepare for the record number of mailed ballots cast during last year's presidential election. She also was recently confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Board... Read More