U.S. intelligence officials have shared information with lawmakers indicating that Russia is attempting to interfere in the presidential election with an ongoing disinformation campaign against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
- While both Republican and Democratic lawmakers agree that Russia is trying to interfere with the election, they hold differing opinions on what Moscow’s true intentions are, the news outlet reported.
- Democrats are holding that the Russian interference is meant to spread disinformation regarding former Vice President Biden. Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said to CNN:
"In the briefings that I've received, there's no ambiguity about what the Russians' intention is and there's no ambiguity about what narratives they are pushing. And there's no ambiguity about the people they are using to push them."
- On the other hand, Republicans argue that Russia is merely attempting to sow discord in the U.S. election and is part of a broader group of foreign entities who seek to interfere in U.S. affairs. Republican Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said:
"It's pretty clear that foreign governments want to disrupt our elections. That the Iranians and Chinese don't have much love for Trump. The main thing is they are playing in our backyard -- and that's the big takeaway."
- Intelligence officials have steered clear of making any claims that the Russian interference was pointed towards benefiting any one candidate.
- Democrats have pushed the administration to release more information about the interference. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) told CNN that it is very important that the administration "warn the American people about what nations are trying to interfere and they put out China, Russia and Iran -- and what some of their tactics are so that Americans are not tricked by misinformation and disinformation programs."