Politics

Russia Will Interfere in 2020 Presidential Election, Homeland Security Chief Predicts

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said his agency is expecting Russia to interfere in the upcoming presidential elections, underscoring the need for action at the local, state, and federal levels ahead of the November 2020 polls.

“Unlike China, Russia doesnt seek to weaken our economy and surpass us on the world-stage; rather they focus on actions that disrupt and undermine the American way of life,” Wolf said, according to a transcript of a speech he gave Friday. “As we saw in 2016, we fully expect Russia to attempt to interfere in the 2020 elections to sow public discord and undermine our democratic institutions.”

Since 2016, Homeland Security and other federal agencies have taken steps to prepare for potential Russian interference, Wolf said, before adding that the White House has a “laser” focus on dealing with potential threats from Moscow.

“Let me be clear: We are prepared,” Wolf said. “More importantly, the state and local officials who run our elections are prepared. We are working with our federal partners to make sure those officials on the front lines of our elections have the information and the tools they need to combat Russian interference.”

About 90 percent of votes cast in November will have a corresponding paper ballot, he said. The use of voting machines that print out a record of how a voter cast their ballot has been touted as a security boon to prevent potential foreign interference or hacks by malicious actors.

Beyond election threats, he touched on cyber threats from a number of countries, including China and Iran. But China, he stressed, is the “most persistent nation-state threat in the cyber realm.”

“Through cyber espionage and other activities that impact our economic prosperity and intellectual horsepower, it is pursuing a long-term whole-of-nation effort to threaten and undermine the United States,” Wolf said of China. “While we value our partnership with Beijing to promote global prosperity, we are working to hold Chinese bad actors accountable for their malign activities.”

Wolf suggested China poses a more persistent threat to the United StatesRead More – Source