The FBI director believes the country wants to see a second Trump victory by “denigrating” Democrat hopeful Joe Biden. He made the accusations while testifying to the US House Homeland Security Committee. US President Donald Trump has long been accused of using Russian interference in the 2016 election to win his presidency. The warnings follow a Senate report released this month about Mr Trump’s links to Russian officials and businesses. Mr Biden has been accused by Mr Trump of having links to China and other foreign powers.
Mr Wray claimed the FBI had witnessed “very active efforts by the Russians to influence our elections in 2020”.
He added concerns about Russia attempting to influence the result of the 2020 election come from fears of a “steady drumbeat of misinformation” through “malign foreign influence in social and state media.”
The director also said the efforts appeared to be “primarily to denigrate vice-president Joe Biden and what the Russians see as kind of an anti-Russian establishment”.
Mr Wray, throughout his testimony to the committee, said the FBI is committed to blocking interference in the election.
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Mr Wray’s claims contradict Mr Trump’s repeated denials of interference, with the US president labelling the accusations “fake news” and a “witch hunt”.
His testimony also follows an August 7 warning from the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, which held China, Iran and Russia were all trying to interfere in this year’s election.
It also follows a nearly 1,000 page Senate report which laid out links between Mr Trump and Russian officials.
The report concluded the Kremlin “engaged in an aggressive, multifaceted effort to influence, or attempt to influence” the 2016 election, and some Trump associates were keen to accept help from Russia to win.
Mr Wray’s claims echo those voiced by Democrats and security officials in the 2016 elections.
Robert Mueller, former special counsel for the US Department of Justice, issued a series of reports to Attorney General William Barr detailing Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
In 2019, Mr Mueller delivered his final report concluding a two-year probe into alleged Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government.
It found the Russian government “interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion” and “violated US criminal law”, but cleared Mr Trump of any collusion with the Russian government.
When the Mueller Report was released, then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said: “The report was clear — there was no collusion, no conspiracy — and the Department of Justice confirmed there was no obstruction.”
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Mr Trump has recently attempted to attack Mr Biden’s campaign by tying him to China.
On September 7, the US president said China was interfering in the election by encouraging Black Lives Matter protesters.
After sharing an article about China “favouring” Mr Biden, he said on Twitter: “Of course they want Biden.
“I have taken $Billions from China and given it to our Farmers and US Treasury.”
He added, referencing a conspiracy about the nominee’s son Hunter Biden’s links to Ukraine and China: “China would own the US if Biden & Hunter got in!”
Mr Wray also testified about Chinese interference and Beijing spying.
He claimed the FBI opens a new counterintelligence investigation to counter Chinese attempts to steal US information and technology “every 10 hours”.
The director also revealed the FBI was conducting investigations into domestic terrorism following months of protests following the death of George Floyd on May 23.
The director claimed the largest “chunk” of investigations were into white supremacist groups.