Trump administration finds 'no material impact' from foreign interference in 2018 midterm elections - Southern Business Review


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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Trump administration finds 'no material impact' from foreign interference in 2018 midterm elections

Trump administration officials found no evidence that any foreign actors had a "material impact on the integrity or security" of election infrastructure during the 2018 midterms. But the findings applied only to the "identified activities" of the governments or agencies investigated.

That conclusion was spelled out in a classified report sent by acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to President Donald Trump on Monday, according to a joint press release.

The specific conclusions of the report will remain non-public, the press release said, but its findings will be utilized in future elections. In the meantime, "efforts to safeguard the 2020 elections are already underway," the statement said.

Read the full press release here:

Report Concludes No Material Impact of Foreign Interference on Election or Political/Campaign Infrastructure in 2018 Elections

WASHINGTON – Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen yesterday submitted a joint report to President Donald J. Trump evaluating the impact of any foreign interference on election infrastructure or the infrastructure of political organizations, including campaigns and candidates in the 2018-midterm elections.

The classified report was prepared pursuant to section 1(b) of Executive Order 13848, Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Influence in a United States Election, which the President issued on Sept. 12, 2018.

Throughout the 2018 midterm election cycle, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security worked closely with federal, state, local, and private sector partners, including all 50 states and more than 1400 local jurisdictions, to support efforts to secure election infrastructure and limit risk posed by foreign interference. Efforts to safeguard the 2020 elections are already underway.

Although the specific conclusions within the joint report must remain classified, the Departments have concluded there is no evidence to date that any identified activities of a foreign government or foreign agent had a material impact on the integrity or security of election infrastructure or political/campaign infrastructure used in the 2018 midterm elections for the United States Congress. This finding was informed by a report prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) pursuant to the same Executive Order and is consistent with what was indicated by the U.S. government after the 2018 elections.

While the report remains classified, its findings will help drive future efforts to protect election and political/campaign infrastructure from foreign interference.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.