The US intelligence community has found no evidence of foreign nations interfering with mail-in ballots, throwing a wrench into Trump's conspiracies

  • The US intelligence community has found no evidence that foreign nations are trying to interfere in the November election by manipulating mail-in voting, senior government officials said Wednesday.
  • "We have no information or intelligence that any nation or state actor is engaging in any kind of activity to undermine any part of the mail-in vote or ballots," a senior federal official told reporters at a Wednesday briefing, according to The Washington Post.
  • Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen made a similar statement: "We have yet to see any activity intended to prevent voting or to change votes, and we continue to think that it would be extraordinarily difficult for foreign adversaries to change vote tallies."
  • Wednesday's development threw a wrench into President Donald Trump's baseless claim that hostile foreign powers are trying to meddle in the election by mass producing counterfeit ballots to send to voters.
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The US intelligence community has found no evidence that foreign nations are trying to interfere in the November election by manipulating mail-in voting, senior government officials said Wednesday.

"We have no information or intelligence that any nation or state actor is engaging in any kind of activity to undermine any part of the mail-in vote or ballots," a senior federal official told reporters at a Wednesday briefing, according to The Washington Post.

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen made a similar statement during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

"We have yet to see any activity intended to prevent voting or to change votes, and we continue to think that it would be extraordinarily difficult for foreign adversaries to change vote tallies," Rosen said.

Wednesday's development threw a wrench into President Donald Trump's baseless claim that hostile foreign powers are trying to meddle in the election by mass-producing counterfeit ballots to send to voters.

"RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!" Trump tweeted in June.

Attorney General William Barr also floated the idea in an interview with The New York Times magazine published on June 1.

Barr told The Times the idea was "one of the issues that I'm real worried about," claiming that "there are a number of foreign countries that could easily make counterfeit ballots, put names on them, send them in. And it'd be very hard to sort out what's happening."

But as Insider's Grace Panetta reported, Trump and Barr's theory about foreign interference with the mail-in voting process is highly unlikely for several reasons:

  • Election administration in the United States is not centralized, and there is no single national ballot a foreign state could mass produce and send to voters.
  • Most ballots and the envelopes they're mailed in are difficult to replicate because they contain specific information about barcodes, precincts, and voter ID numbers. 

Nonpartisan experts and multiple studies have found no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and millions of Americans vote by mail every year. Trump's own campaign and Republican officials are also quietly encouraging absentee and mail-in voting amid fears that the president's claims will hurt Republicans by depressing turnout among his own voters.

Trump and many of his top staff and family members have also voted by mail or tried to in recent years, but the president still continues pushing conspiracy theories about the practice.

Earlier this month, he falsely said that increasing mail-in voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic would result in "the greatest rigged election in history" and "the greatest fraud ever perpetrated."

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