FBI chief Chris Wray says Russia has a 'very, very active' campaign to 'denigrate Joe Biden Donald, sow divisiveness and discord and influence our election'

 FBI Director Christopher Wray warned the Congress in testimony that Russia is interfering in the 2020 elections with an active campaign to 'denigrate' President Donald Trump's rival Democrat Joe Biden.

In stark testimony less than two months before Election Day, Wray said Russia was pumping out a steady steam of misinformation aimed at Biden as well as sapping Americans' confidence in the election process.

The threat, Wray said, is ongoing. 'The intelligence community consensus is that Russia continues to try to influence our elections,' he said – nearly four years after an ominous intelligence community warning about Russian measures in 2016.

Moscow is also attempting to undercut what it sees as an anti-Russian U.S. establishment, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation head told the Democratic-led House of Representatives' Homeland Security committee.

He said his biggest concern is a 'steady drumbeat of misinformation' that he said he feared could undermine confidence in the result of the 2020 election.

FBI Director Chris Wray said Russia and its proxies seek to sow 'divisiveness and discord' and 'primarily to denigrate Vice President Biden'

FBI Director Chris Wray said Russia and its proxies seek to sow 'divisiveness and discord' and 'primarily to denigrate Vice President Biden'

FBI Chief Wray says Russia continues influencing US elections
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Wray's testimony follows an Aug. 7 warning by the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center that Russia, China and Iran were all trying to interfere in the Nov. 3 election.

Wray said Russia and its proxies seek to sow 'divisiveness and discord' and 'primarily to denigrate Vice President Biden and what the Russians see as kind of an anti-Russian establishment.' 

Wray was confirmed to fill his post after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who played a key role in authorizing probes of the Trump 2016 campaign as well as the Hillary Clinton email probe. 

Wray's testimony made clear that Russia's actions were not a thing of the past – ever after the Obama administration imposed sanctions in 2017, and the Trump administration and Congress continued to apply economic pressure. 

'We certainly have seen very active efforts by the Russians to influence our elections in 2020,' Wray testified.

Multiple reviews by U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia acted to boost now-President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and undermine his rival Hillary Clinton. 

Trump has long bristled at that finding, which Russia denies. The president, meanwhile, has leveled scathing attacks on the U.S. election system, including mail-in balloting in particular. He also has launched blistering attacks on Joe Biden's mental health – a line of attack that the Homeland Security Department has warned in memos Russia also is promoting.

Trump himself has repeatedly and without evidence questioned the increased use of mail-in ballots, a long established method of voting in the United States which are expected to see a surge in use due to the coronavirus. 

On Thursday Trump said on Twitter that without evidence that they could make it impossible to know the election's true outcome.  

Wray said Russia has a 'very, very active' campaign to denigrate Joe Biden

Wray said Russia has a 'very, very active' campaign to denigrate Joe Biden

Wearing a face mask to reduce the risk posed by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray leaves after testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee during a hearing about 'worldwide threats to the homeland' on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 17, 2020

Wearing a face mask to reduce the risk posed by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray leaves after testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee during a hearing about 'worldwide threats to the homeland' on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 17, 2020


Wray said Russia was seeking to denigrate Democrat Joe Biden

Wray said Russia was seeking to denigrate Democrat Joe Biden

The testimony comes four years after U.S. intelligence warned Vladimir Putin's intelligence agencies were interfering in the elections

The testimony comes four years after U.S. intelligence warned Vladimir Putin's intelligence agencies were interfering in the elections

'Because of the new and unprecedented massive amount of unsolicited ballots which will be sent to 'voters', or wherever, this year, the Nov 3rd Election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED, which is what some want. Another election disaster yesterday. Stop Ballot Madness!,' Trump wrote on Twitter. 

He urged governors - many of whom have expanded mail-in voting options in their states - to go back to traditional Election Day voting 

'The big Unsolicited Ballot States should give it up NOW, before it is too late, and ask people to go to the Polling Booths and, like always before, VOTE. Otherwise, MAYHEM!!! Solicited Ballots (absentee) are OK,' he added.

The president exploded about mail-in voting at a White House press briefing after DailyMail.com asked him about his earlier vow to 'put down' any potential violent election protests, which he said would amount to an 'insurrection.' 

He then raised the prospect of an election so disputed that it ends up being decided not by the direct vote or the Electoral College, but by the House of Representatives. 

'It's not just the counting of the ballots, which, by the way will take forever,' Trump fumed. 'It'll take forever. You think November 3rd? You might not have – I guess, at a certain point it goes to Congress. At a certain point it goes to Congress – you know that,' he said. 

Trump downplayed the risk of foreign interference by saying governors overseeing mail-in ballots were a greater threat.

The U.S. intelligence committee warned in October 2016 that Russia was interfering in the U.S. election. Top officials have testified that its primary goal was so sow division by boosting Trump and denigrating his then rival Hillary Clinton.

The intelligence community warned last month about threats to this election.

'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,' according to Bill Evanina, a top intelligence official for election security. 

He also warned that Russia was acting to denigrate Biden. 'This is consistent with Moscow's public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration's policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia,' Evanina said. 'Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump's candidacy on social media and Russian television.' 

FBI chief Chris Wray says Russia has a 'very, very active' campaign to 'denigrate Joe Biden Donald, sow divisiveness and discord and influence our election' FBI chief Chris Wray says Russia has a 'very, very active' campaign to 'denigrate Joe Biden Donald, sow divisiveness and discord and influence our election' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:11 Rating: 5

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