With less than seven weeks until Election Day, the FBI Director told Congress on Thursday that Russia is again trying to meddle in the U.S. elections, citing efforts on social media to create discord and to undermine the candidacy of former Vice President Joe Biden.
“We certainly have seen very active, very active efforts by the Russians to influence our election in 2020,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee.
Wray said the goal of the Russian effort was ‘primarily to denigrate former Vice President Biden,’ fearing that Biden and Democrats represent more of an ‘anti-Russian establishment.’
The FBI Director said there is no evidence so far in 2020 of hacking and other cyber attacks by the Russians - like what happened in 2016.
In his testimony, Wray said there had been a ‘drumbeat of misinformation’ directed at Biden.
The term “denigrate” was also used by U.S. Intelligence back in 2016 - to describe the Russian efforts against Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Most widely reported these days are attempts by adversaries — hoping to reach a wide swath of Americans covertly from outside the United States — to use false personas and fabricated stories on social media platforms to discredit U.S. individuals and institutions,” Wray said in his testimony.
Wray’s appearance before Congress came as President Trump’s Director of National Intelligence reversed course, and agreed to brief key lawmakers in Congress about the threat from Russia.
DNI John Ratcliffe had created an uproar among Democrats earlier this month, when he said he would not brief members of Congress about possible election threats from Russia.