FBI: US accuses Russia and Iran of trying to interfere in presidential elections | USA elections

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Some voters in Miami (Florida), this Wednesday.JOE RAEDLE / AFP

Another déjà vú in the presidential elections of November 3. Once again, the shadow of foreign interference looms over the American ballot box. The FBI announced this Wednesday night at a press conference that Iran is responsible for the massive sending of threatening emails to Democratic voters this week. The sender of many of these emails was apparently the far-right Proud Boys, which backs the president and has denied involvement. According to the United States Government, both Russia and the Islamic Republic have obtained data from American voters with which they can interfere in the elections.

The National Intelligence Director, John Ratcliffe, who coordinates the various US espionage services, and the Director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, called an emergency press conference, after seven thirty in the afternoon (local time), advancing that it was a serious election-related event. "We have confirmed that some information on voter registration has been obtained by Iran and, separately, by Russia," Racliffe said from FBI headquarters in Washington. He then reported that Tehran was behind the sending of "emails false statements with the aim of intimidating voters, inciting unrest and hurting President Trump. "

According to Ratcliffe, there is no indication that the operation involved any attack on the records themselves, which would pose a serious risk to the election. Much of the information obtained is either public in some States or can be obtained from other databases. However, the action is intended to influence the vote, at least, to shake the waters during these last two weeks before November 3.

Emails sent to Democrats said: “Will you vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you. Change your affiliation to the Republican Party so that we know that you have received our message and that you are going to comply. " Ratcliffe asked citizens to "do their part" to defend the United States from those who want to harm the country. The way to help, he added, is "simple." "Do not let these attempts take effect, if you receive these threatening emails, do not be alarmed or spread them."

The action hurts both candidates. It creates a bad image for the Republican president, but if the threat works, it can also cost the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, a few votes in an election in which each ballot is crucial, especially in a state like Florida, where many have been received of those emails.

The intelligence director also warned against a video, which he also attributed to Iran, which allegedly shows a fraud case showing that it was possible to send a fraudulent vote. "The video, and any accusation of fraudulent votes are not true," he stressed, which clashes with the attitude of the president of the United States himself, who has been the first to cast doubt on the rigor of the electoral system.

The episode sets off alarms in a country that is still burdened with the cyberattacks and disinformation campaign carried out by Russia in 2016. Both the intelligence services, the Department of Justice, the United States Congress and the investigation by the special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller concluded that the Kremlin orchestrated a whole ploy to denigrate the image of Hillary Clinton and favor Trump's victory. The plan, in addition to a ton of fake news, included the theft and dissemination of Democratic Party emails. The so-called Russian plot also led to an investigation into the possible collusion with the current president's circle, of which no evidence was found. Trump always gave the benefit of the doubt to Vladimir Putin, who rejected the accusation, and grudgingly accepted the conclusion of his own government.

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