Former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats says that the Russian operatives are currently working to interfere in American elections.
During an interview with CBS News on Thursday, Coats was asked whether President Donald Trump’s references to Russian interference in the 2020 election as a “hoax” are accurate.
The retired intelligence official said, “I am absolutely clear that by the intelligence that we have gathered that we have full confidence that the Russians are going after our elections.”
Coats continued, “They’re trying to undermine our confidence in democracy. They’re doing it now, they’re going to continue to do it. And the American people need to know that.”
EXCLUSIVE: “We have full confidence that the Russians are going after our elections,” Dan Coats, Pres. Trump’s former Director of National Intelligence, tells @NorahODonnell.
“They're trying to undermine our confidence in democracy.”— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) October 29, 2020
After the intelligence community warned Congress that the Russians are working to help Trump’s re-election campaign, the president tweeted that the briefings were “another misinformation campaign” and that it’s “being launched by Democrats.”
Another misinformation campaign is being launched by Democrats in Congress saying that Russia prefers me to any of the Do Nothing Democrat candidates who still have been unable to, after two weeks, count their votes in Iowa. Hoax number 7!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2020
For the past year, intelligence and national security officials have been warning the nation that the Russians are working to interfere in the 2020 election.
FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress that the Russians are putting out a “steady drumbeat of misinformation” aimed at undermining Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign.
The Department of Homeland Security has warned that the Russians are working to undermine confidence in mail-in voting. President Trump has also attacked mail-in voting and frequently said that mail-in votes are rife with fraud, though there is little evidence to support the president’s position.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has also frequently sounded the alarm on the campaign trail. Over the summer, he said, “We know from before, and I guarantee you that I know now, because now I get briefings again. The Russians are still engaged in trying to delegitimize our electoral process.”
Unsurprisingly, Russian officials have denied that they’re meddling in the 2020 campaign. A Kremlin spokesperson said that the intelligence community’s warnings about election meddling “are more paranoid announcements which, to our regret, will multiply as we get closer to the election.”