US Intel bulletin warns Russia is ‘amplifying’ claims of mail-in voter fraud

President Donald Trump told his supporters to vote twice to make a point about alleged voter fraud

Loading the player...

Russia is interfering with the presidential election by promoting false claims about mail-in voter fraud according to an intelligence bulletin issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

ABC News obtained the bulletin and reported that Russia sought to “amplify” claims that there is inherent fraud and disenfranchisement with mail-in voting. Federal and state officials received a warning on Thursday that the meddling by “Russian malign influence actors” who have attacked the voting process “by spreading disinformation.”

Read More: Baltimore postal facility sat on 68,000 pieces of election mail for 5 days before primary

Connecticut Holds Primary Elections After Two Postponements
A secure ballot drop box stands at a Stamford library for people to drop off their Connecticut 2020 presidential primary ballots on August 11, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

According to officials from the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence branch, this manipulation has been taking place since March.

“Russian state media and proxy websites in mid-August 2020 criticized the integrity of expanded and universal vote-by-mail, claiming ineligible voters could receive ballots due to out-of-date voter rolls, leaving a vast amount of ballots unaccounted for and vulnerable to tampering,” the bulletin notes.

“These websites also alleged that vote-by-mail processes would overburden the U.S. Postal Service and local boards of election,” it continues, “delaying vote tabulation and creating more opportunities for fraud and error.”

These efforts by the Russians align with President Donald Trump’s aversion to mail-in voting. The shared belief has caused concern for John Cohen, the former undersecretary for intelligence at DHS under President Barack Obama.

Mail-In Ballots Are Processed For Washington's Primary Election
Ballot envelopes sit in a box at the King County Elections headquarters earlier this month. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

“This most recent DHS intelligence report along with other recent reporting by intelligence and law enforcement entities should put to rest any doubts that Russia is spreading conspiracy theories and lies in an effort to influence the outcome of the 2020 election by undermining confidence in the election process and influence voter opinion,” said Cohen, also an ABC News contributor.

Read More: Defiant DeJoy confirms he won’t restore mail-sorting machines

As theGrio previously reported, the president has cast doubt on the integrity of voting by mail.

He’s also been accused of attempting to suppress the vote by turning the United States Postal Service into a political tool.

Mailboxes were taken off the streets and destroyed as there have been increased delays in the mail. Democrats have contended that US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Republican fundraiser, is destabilizing the agency to help Trump win re-election.

Trump once again voiced his concerns about mail-in voting on Wednesday during an exchange with reporters in Wilmington, N.C. He wanted voters to mail in a ballot and then vote in-person to test the reliability of the process.

“They are going to have to check their vote by going to the poll and voting that way because if it tabulates, then they won’t be able to do that,” Trump said. “So let them send it in, and let them go vote. And if their system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they will be able to vote.”

Read More: Postal service informs managers not to reconnect mail sorting machines

By Thursday, the president began to reel in his comments as voting twice is against the law.

“Go to your polling place to see whether or not your Mail In Vote has been tabulated (Counted.) If it has you will not be able to Vote & the Mail In System worked properly,” he tweeted.

The president’s campaign further told ABC News that they were not cooperating with Russians to delegitimize mail-in voting.

“We don’t need or want any foreign interference,” Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesperson, said.

“President Trump will beat Joe Biden fair and square.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

Loading the player...