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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Coats Issues Report on Midterm Election Influence Operations by Russia, Others

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Friday that he submitted the Intelligence Community’s report on foreign interference in the 2018 midterm elections to the president and appropriate executive departments and agencies, per Executive Order 13848, Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election.

“At this time, the Intelligence Community does not have intelligence reporting that indicates any compromise of our nation’s election infrastructure that would have prevented voting, changed vote counts, or disrupted the ability to tally votes. The activity we did see was consistent with what we shared in the weeks leading up to the election. Russia, and other foreign countries, including China and Iran, conducted influence activities and messaging campaigns targeted at the United States to promote their strategic interests,” Coats said.

“We did not make an assessment of the impact that these activities had on the outcome of the 2018 election. The U.S. Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyze U.S. political processes or U.S. public opinion.”

Coats’ submission starts the process of multi-agency administrative review to determine if punitive sanctions should be levied against entities found to have meddled in the U.S. election system.

The director stressed that “preserving the integrity of our election systems and, more broadly, our democracy, is a top priority for the Intelligence Community.”

“We will continue to work this critical topic as we begin preparing for the 2020 elections across all relevant elements of the federal government and with our state and local election partners,” he said.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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