Trump administration knew about Iran, Russia hacking weeks ago

The Department of Homeland Security warned about the voter-intimidation operation earlier this month

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Two U.S. intelligence officials claim the Trump administration has known for weeks that Russia and Iran obtained U.S. voter information in effort to influence the election.

National security adviser Robert O’Brien announced Thursday that both countries collected the data by hacking local governments. The Department of Homeland Security warned about the hacks in an Oct. 8 report, according to NBC News. The following day, Trump casually dropped the F-bomb while holding a virtual “mega, MAGA rally” with Rush Limbaugh, theGRIO previously reported. 

“If you f*ck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are gonna do things to you that have never been done before,” Trump uttered on the airwaves.

The colorful comment was made in regard to the tense relations with Iran, following the Trump administration imposing sanctions on the country’s banking sector.

Read More: Trump’s documented lies and misleading statements average over 50 per day, database says

FBI Director Christopher Wray and National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe announced at a news conference Wednesday that Iranian intelligence used the hacked information to send threatening emails to Democratic voters, falsely purporting to be from the far-right group Proud Boys. The emails warned “we will come after you” if the recipients didn’t vote for Trump, per The Associated Press

“We will know which candidate you voted for. I would take this seriously if I were you,” the email added, according to Newsweek. The home address of the recipient was also posted at the bottom of the message.

“These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries,” Ractliffe said about the voter-intimidation operation.

Read More: Trump official says armed men at Florida polling place not sent by campaign

The Proud Boys deny sending the emails, calling them a “false flag operation” against the group. 

Ratcliffe and Wray said the U.S. will impose costs on any foreign countries interfering in the 2020 U.S. election. Despite the Iranian and Russian actions, they said Americans can be confident that their vote will be counted.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California has requested a “fuller briefing” about Ratcliffe’s assertion that the hackers aim to benefit the Trump re-election campaign. 

“The Iranians using the Proud Boys as a false flag operation, that could cut both ways, either intimidating Democratic voters or enraging Democratic voters,” Schiff told Andrea Mitchell of NBC News on Thursday. “So I would like to see the intelligence behind the conclusion that the director expressed.”

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