FBI: Trump’s mail-in ballot interference accusations not supported by evidence

More voting by mail is likely due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, yet no effort is underway to undermine November's election, despite Trump's claims.

Ballot envelopes sit in a box at the King County Elections headquarters earlier this month. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Senior intelligence officials said on Wednesday that there is no evidence supporting President Donald Trump’s warnings that November’s election will be marred by foreign interference or massive fraud due to the likelihood of increased absentee voting. 

“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,” an unnamed senior official told assembled media

The president has routinely said that mail-in voting will be subject to widespread fraud. However, top U.S. officials, state employees and other voting experts have continuously refuted the claim. 

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A senior FBI official said that the agency is “fully aware” that there will be an increase in mail-in ballots due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The official said, definitively, that they had “not seen, to date, a coordinated national voter fraud effort during a major election, and it would be extraordinarily difficult to change a federal election outcome through this type of model alone, given the range of processes that we need to be affected or compromised by an adversary at the local level.”

The Trump campaign, however, has repeatedly sought to create distrust in the process.

“The intelligence community is right to keep a close eye on this issue, as Democrats attempt to flood the zone with tens of millions of unfrequented mailed ballots that will undoubtedly throw our election system into chaos,” said Thea McDonald, a campaign spokesperson. 

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Trump campaign staffers continue to assert that millions of mail-in ballots are being sent out ahead of the election. But only nine states are using that process, and the ballots are only being sent to registered voters. 

Intelligence officials continue to warn that “foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters’ preferences and perspectives,” said William Evanina of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center. 

Foreign governments, particularly Russia, he said, continue to try to “shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States and undermine the American people’s confidence in our democratic process.” 

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