Claims of potential foreign interference into the 2020 presidential election have been made as far back as October 2018, when the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) warned of interference from countries such as China, Russia, & Iran. More recently, in July 2019, the director of the FBI gave evidence to a Senate Judiciary Committee, stating that "The Russians are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections".

In the last month, FBI officials have warned that Russia was interfering in the elecion in order to see President Trump re-elected, while the Washington Post reported that Bernie Sanders had been warned that Russian intelligence was seeking to help his efforts in the Democratic primary.

In the last couple of days, India has also weighed in, threatening to interfere in the presidential election to stop Bernie Sanders becoming president, due to his remarks about unrest in the Indian capital, which he described as "widespread anti-Muslim mob violence".

What has been the response in the US to all these threats or perceived threats? I'm interested in the response from US intelligence agencies, the response from elected US officials, and any polling data on this topic amongst the American populace.


3 Answers 3


An anecdotal partial response: In online circles critical of the US regime, this seems to be met with derision.

Seeing how no evidence has been presented for alleged interference; and little-to-no evidence has been presented for the claims of Russian government involved in 2016 - especially in light of the frenzy around this issue for over 3 years - the claim is dismissed, and it is speculated that this is actually an intervention in the elections by elements in the intelligence community.

A more "formal" example of this response: Coverage by journalist and commentator Aaron Mate.

Note, specifically, that even your quote of the director of the FBI regards supposed intent, not action. The FBI official in your link to the AP stories says "Russian wants". In the WashPo coverage, a quote refers to a "new playbook" with "as-yet-undetectable methods" etc.

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    I'd hardly say there was no evidence for Russian involvement in 2016 (Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume3). There's no evidence for the vote itself being affected, but they were clearly involved in the campaign.
    – Bobson
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 20:02
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    @Bobson: I actually went through the "Muller report". It has a lot of assertions, but does not present evidence of Russian government involvement in the 2016 elections. The document is full of assertions and allegation - not evidence.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 20:26
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    That’s why I didn’t link to the Muller report. This is from the Senate intelligence committee.
    – Bobson
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 21:24
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    @Bobson: Oh, I'm sorry. Then - it'll take me some time to go through that. Could I trouble you to point me at some specific pages?
    – einpoklum
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 21:25
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    It looks like it's actually a five-part report, and we just got part 3 last month. Volume 1 is infrastructure, Volume 2 is social media, and Volume 3 is an analysis of the government's response. In Volume 2, which is the one I was originally thinking of, I recommend pages 33-34, the bottom of 42, 47, 54-55, and 72.
    – Bobson
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 22:06

It is a mistake to focus on who the foreigner want to win any particular election. The point of the interference is not to elect the more favorable candidate. From the point of view of foreign hostile governments there is very little difference between one candidate or the other, they want to weaken the entire United States. The point is to sow confusion and distrust in government.

The next important point is that this interference has occurred since the beginning of the US government. I don't mean from Russia, but from foreign powers. Some government has always interfered

The third point is the importance given to social media. It is easier to "Be heard" in the social media field now that it is virtually inescapable.

So to answer your question, the government is:

  1. Showing a face that they can handle it whether they can or not

  2. Educate the public on what is happening using news media

  3. Using Counter-espionage and Diplomatic channels

  4. Creating distractions to deny attention to enemy social media campaigns.

  • It seems like you're expressing your personal opinion, or is this a description of a part of public opinion?
    – einpoklum
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 18:23
  • @einpoklum This is exactly what the government is doing. There are numerous news articles showing this action, political speeches and media being manipulated. Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 14:47
  • This question is not about objective truth, but rather about public opinion.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 14:51

It would be good idea to define explicitly what is "threat of foreign interference" exactly. In this sentence all words are under question.
First, threat always exist. There is a serious threat mankind will be not alive tomorrow. Second, what does it mean "foreign"? If Russians or Chinese living at US will decide they prefer one candidate over another due to some circumstances around Russia or China - wil that be a "threat"? And of course - BIG question is "interference". I am Russian. I post at social networks and I am dislike Clinton (actually I dislike Trump too but this does not matter). And I am working at Russian government institution. And I will post again - I am free to do so and I am doing it right now on this site! Is it "interference" and will I be jailed at USA once I will arrive to this ABSOLUTELY FREE country? Actually - everyone interference with everyone at this planet. US governement interference MOST - with each and any election in any country includinq all elections in Russia and China. Noone ever worried much however - that is life, everyone has right to reach own goals in any elections. That is why elections needed. FIGHT for your cause. So I personally believe this story about "interference" is just hoax. Like Iraqi WMD story.

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