KEY POINTS

  • FBI Director Wray testified before lawmakers that Russia is interfering in the November election
  • The Kremlin's effort hopes to undercut Biden's campaign and what it sees as an anti-Russian US establishment
  • The report also cited an earlier analysis that accused Russia, China, and Iran of attempting to influence the US election

FBI Director Christopher Wray said Russia is very active in its campaign to influence the U.S. elections by attempting to “denigrate” Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. 

Wray appeared before the House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday, where he testified before lawmakers that Russia is attempting to hurt Biden’s campaign. He also added that the Kremlin’s effort has focused on disparaging the candidacy of the former vice president, USA Today reported.  

“This is consistent with Moscow's public criticism of him when he was vice president for his role in the Obama Administration's policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia,” a top U.S. intelligence official said. 

The FBI director said the foreign election interference efforts for the November elections is different from what they have observed in 2016, where the Russians targeted the election infrastructure. 

"We have not seen that second part yet this year or this cycle, but we certainly have seen very active, very active efforts by the Russians to influence our election in 2020," he said. 

According to Wray’s testimonies, Moscow is using social media, state media, and online journals to show discord and undercut what it perceives as an anti-Russian establishment. 

Intelligence officials said they have collected evidence of foreign interference, including Facebook’s announcement earlier this month that a troll group that was involved in Russia’s interference in the 2016 election is once again targeting Americans, CNN reported.  

The FBI director’s comments echoed an Aug. 7 warning by the director of the National Counter-Intelligence and Security Center, which accused Russia, China, and Iran of interfering in the 2020 election. The two latter countries allegedly preferred Trump to lose the November elections due to his “unpredictable nature.”

“We assess that China prefers that President Trump -- whom Beijing sees as unpredictable -- does not win reelection,” Bill Evanina, a top U.S. intelligence official, said last month. “China will continue to weigh the risks and benefits of aggressive action.”

While the intelligence community has said the China and Iran prefer Trump to lose, officials have yet to offer any indication or date that either country is taking steps the same way as Moscow. 

wray FBI Director Christopher Wray said Tuesday Chinese students in the U.S. might be covertly gathering information for their government back home. In this photo, Wray is sworn in prior to testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2017. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images