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US Intel Report Reveals China, Russia, and Iran Attempted Midterm Election Interference

(Image: Getty)

A recently declassified intelligence report disclosed heightened attempts by China, Russia, and Iran to influence the 2022 U.S. midterm elections compared to their involvement in the 2018 midterms. Released in December 2022 and declassified last week, the report outlined the intelligence community’s (IC) evaluations concerning foreign threats to the 2022 U.S. elections.

(Image: Getty)

Foreign Meddling Expands in 2022 US Midterms

The report clarified that there was no directive from foreign leaders to conduct a comprehensive, government-wide influence campaign, such as the Russian interference observed in the 2016 election. However, it highlighted a diverse and expanding group of foreign actors engaging in election meddling, with China exhibiting a greater willingness than in previous cycles.

Despite the absence of persistent attempts to access election infrastructure or alter votes—deemed technically challenging—foreign actors primarily focused on amplifying genuine U.S. narratives. Their strategy aimed to influence electoral outcomes, sow mistrust in U.S. election processes and exacerbate societal divisions.

The intelligence community expressed “high confidence” in its findings regarding Russian attempts to undermine the Democratic Party before the midterms. The Kremlin targeted this to erode confidence in the election, likely seeking to diminish U.S. support for Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict.

READ ALSO: China, Russia tried to meddle in 2022 midterms: US intel

Intel Report Reveals China, Iran, and Cuba’s Meddling Efforts

Furthermore, the report highlighted China’s “tacit approval” of efforts to influence select midterm races against politicians seen as anti-China. This decision could be viewed as a response to perceived intensified U.S. efforts to promote democracy, believed to come at China’s expense.

Iran also made attempts to exploit social divisions and undermine confidence in U.S. democratic institutions. However, their efforts were seemingly constrained due to limited resources amid internal unrest. Additionally, Cuba was identified as engaging in smaller-scale, narrowly targeted activities focused on shaping the opinions of Florida candidates, although this likely extended to other U.S. politicians.

The report shed light on a concerning trend of increased foreign meddling, emphasizing the need for heightened vigilance and robust security measures to safeguard the integrity of U.S. elections against such external influences.

READ ALSO: Biden campaign in year-end memo argues democracy on the line in 2024

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