US officials link Iran to emails meant to intimidate voters

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WASHINGTON — The US government announced Russia and Iran have obtained some voter registration data and are aiming to interfere in the November election, according to an FBI news conference Wednesday.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said the data can be used to spread false information to registered voters in order to cause confusion and undermine confidence in their votes.

“These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries,” Ratcliffe said.

The FBI has discovered “spoofed emails” from Iran used to intimidate voters and incite social unrest. Iran has also circulated a video online that implies voters could be casting fraudulent ballots.

Officials have yet to find similar content from Russia, but Ratcliffe confirmed the country has gathered voter information similar to the 2016 election.

“We are not going to tolerate foreign interference in our elections or any criminal activity that threatens the sanctity of your vote or undermines public confidence in the outcome of the election,” FBI Director Chris Wray said.