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Iran Press TV

FBI: Russia engaged in 'information warfare' ahead of 2020 presidential election

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 06 February 2020 10:37 AM

The FBI has accused Russia of being engaged in "information warfare" heading into the 2020 presidential election, repeating allegations that Moscow conducted a "cyberattack on election infrastructure" in 2016 presidential vote.

Agency's director Christopher Wray said that Russia is engaged in "information warfare" heading into the 2020 presidential election, though he said law enforcement has not seen ongoing efforts by Russia to target America's election infrastructure, the AP said.

He told the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that Russia "has never stopped" to push its interest on the country through a covert social media campaign.

"It happened in 2016, and it's been continuing ever since then. It may have an uptick during an election cycle, but it is a 24/7, 365-days-a-year threat," he said.

At another point in the oversight hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, Wray avoided a direct answer when asked if President Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr or other administration officials had asked him for investigations into Trump Democratic rival Joe Biden, his son Hunter, or into any members of Congress, the AP added.

US accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election in favor of President Donald Trump.

Moscow has constantly denied the allegations, saying they are part of a politically-motivated anti-Russian campaign.

Wray, however, said that the agency has "not seen any ongoing efforts [by Russia to target election infrastructure like we did in 2016."

Despite no signs of election system targeting, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security said they are on alert for election-related cyberactivity.

The hearing was Wray's first since a Justice Department inspector general report identified what it said were significant errors in applications to eavesdrop on former Trump campaign aide national security Carter Page, including omitting critical information that cut against the FBI's original premise that Page was a Russian agent.

After the report was issued, Wray told The Associated Press that the mistakes were "unacceptable and unrepresentative of who we are as an institution." He repeated that message to lawmakers Wednesday.

Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, has been running a high-profile investigation into allegations that Trump won the 2016 presidential election against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton only because Moscow had rigged the election in his favor.

US intelligence agencies claim Russia-linked hackers provided WikiLeaks with damaging information -- in the form of thousands of hacked emails -- about Clinton to skew the 2016 presidential election in favor of Trump.

Trump has repeatedly denied allegations that his campaign colluded with Russians.

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