Threat Intelligence

Clapper: Russia has a long history of trying to interfere with elections

Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James R. Clapper said there have been previous instances of Russian attempts to influence U.S. elections going back to the 1960s.

Russia has a history of “trying to influence elections — their own and others,” he said during a video interview with the Washington Post. Russia's recent activities may be “more dramatic” he said “because now they have the cyber tools to bring to bear on the same effort.”

U.S. intelligence agencies are investigating the recent incidents involving U.S. targets as part of a larger Russian campaign aimed at fostering distrust in the upcoming presidential election.

Analysis by several security firms has linked Russian intelligence groups to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) leaks. Senior intelligence officials, including Clapper, have not yet publicly attributed the threat actor responsible for the intrusions.

“It is not clear if there is influence in terms of the outcome,” Clapper said. He told the Post that he is more worried about “the sowing of seeds of doubt.”

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