U.S. agencies mobilize to counter all forms of election interference including cyber

FPI / July 29, 2020


The U.S. government is working hard to ensure the 2020 U.S. presidential election will be free from intervention from the likes of China, Russia and Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. / C-SPAN

Pompeo said the entire U.S. government is on alert for attempts to influence voting, disrupt voting machines through cyberattacks or use disinformation against presidential candidates.

“There is one threat from cyber, switching votes, trying to interfere with the actual voting process,” Pompeo told The Washington Times. “I think we’ve also done a lot of good work, too, to make sure that we’re ready in the case of disinformation campaigns that may appear, to make sure American people can see through them and see what’s going on.”

Security Correspondent Bill Gertz noted that “U.S. intelligence agencies have centers that monitor foreign influence operations and are ready to expose foreign intelligence activities that involve political disinformation.”

The U.S. government has a responsibility to “get that right,” said Pompeo, who faulted the Obama administration for its lack of counterintelligence against Russian election interference in 2016.

Investigations after the election revealed that Obama administration officials knew of Russian election interference in early 2016 but took no action against Moscow’s spy services — other than a phone call from then-CIA Director John Brennan asking the Russian FSB intelligence and security agency to halt its activities.

“I am reminded of what happens when it goes wrong,” Pompeo, who was CIA director prior to being named secretary of state, said. “In 2016, the previous administration simply refused to take the actions necessary to prevent what it was that Russia sought to engage in. We will not permit that to happen. We’ll continue to deliver safe, free and fair elections.”

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