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Foreign hackers did not disrupt US presidential election despite efforts from Iran and Russia, report says

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said there was no changing of ballots or altering of the voting process.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump
Joe Biden and Donald Trump
Image: Carolyn Kaster/Evan Vucci/PA Images

RUSSIA AND IRAN sought to influence the outcome of last November’s US presidential election, according to a government report.

Despite these efforts, US intelligence officials found no evidence that any foreign actor changed votes or otherwise disrupted the voting process.

The report released today from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence amounts to the most detailed description of the broad array of foreign threats to the 2020 election.

This included Russian influence operations that officials say were authorised by President Vladimir Putin and efforts by Iran to undermine confidence in the vote and harm Donald Trump’s re-election prospects.

The report says the US tracked a broader array of foreign election threats than in past cycles, including from the Middle East and South America.

In the end, officials said: “We have no indications that any foreign actor attempted to interfere in the 2020 US elections by altering any technical aspect of the voting process, including voter registration, ballot casting, vote tabulation, or reporting results.”

The report examines claims of which foreign adversaries supported which candidates during the 2020 presidential election.

That question took on added scrutiny when Trump, whose 2016 election effort benefited from hacking by Russian intelligence officers and a covert social media campaign, seized on an intelligence community assessment from last August that said China preferred a Biden presidency to his re-election.

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Today’s report, however, says China ultimately did not interfere on either side and “considered but did not deploy” influence operations aimed at affecting the outcome.

Officials determined that Beijing valued a stable relationship with the US and did not consider either election outcome as advantageous enough for it to risk getting caught.

A separate document from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security reached a similar conclusion about the integrity of the election.

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