The White House is defending its efforts to protect the November presidential election from outside interference following a revelation that Russian “malign … actors” have been echoing President Donald Trump’s repeated warnings about potential election fraud.”We’re going to do everything we can to protect the sanctity of our election,” National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told reporters Friday, adding the White House and the president have taken “unprecedented action” to protect the November vote.FILE – National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien speaks to reporters outside of the West Wing of the White House in Washington, May 21, 2020.”We’ve made it very clear to the Chinese, to the Russians, to the Iranians and others that haven’t been publicly disclosed that anyone who tries to attempt to, that anyone who attempts to interfere with American elections will face extraordinary consequences,” he said.The assurances follow the release Thursday of a leaked Department of Homeland Security bulletin saying Russia is stoking fears that expanded mail-in voting will lead to a flawed election result.“Since at least March 2020, Russian malign influence actors have been amplifying allegations of election integrity issues in new voting processes and vote-by-mail programs,” according to the FILE – Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center William Evanina speaks during the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit in Washington, Oct. 31, 2017.“We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment,’” National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina said in the August 7 statement.“Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television,” he added.Evanina also said both China and Iran would prefer to see a Biden victory.Beijing sees Trump as “unpredictable,” Evanina said, adding that Chinese officials understood the range of influence operations they have set in motion “might affect the presidential race.””The greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information & intellectual property & to our economic vitality is the counterintelligence & economic espionage threat from #China” @FBI Dir Christopher Wray tells @HudsonInstitute— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) July 7, 2020Trump, who has been frustrated by allegations that Moscow helped him win in 2016, has repeatedly dismissed suggestions Russia would like to see him win.“We’ve taken stronger action against Russia than any other country in the world,” he told reporters late Friday during a wide-ranging briefing at the White House, while also arguing the threat from Russia has been exaggerated.”It is interesting that everybody’s always mentioning Russia,” Trump told reporters. “I don’t mind you mentioning Russia, but I think probably China, at this point, is the nation you should be talking about, much more so than Russia.”U.S. officials have been promising that despite the myriad concerns, the upcoming presidential election will be “the most secure election in modern history,” though they have warned that unlike in past elections, final results may be delayed by what they expect will be a large number of mail-in ballots. U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials have also said there is no intelligence to suggest any foreign country or anyone in the U.S. is actively trying to use mail-in ballots to rig the presidential election.

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