Analyst: US is trying to divide and conquer as Europe tears itself apart
Meanwhile, three U.S. senators have called for sanctions against Russia over interference in the current U.S. election campaign.
Russia’s campaign to influence the United States is driven by the desire to “see us tear ourselves apart,” said a spokesman for the FBI.
Speaking at a conference in Washington on electoral security, David Porter, Assistant Leader of the FBI’s Anti-Foreign Influence Working Group, said Russia is conducting a “daring and destructive” operation against the United States that seeks to divide the population and weaken traditional sources of information such as the news media. to make room for distorted interpretations of events.
“Electoral interference is one of the vectors in this space. Its purpose is to undermine trust in the very foundations of our democratic system and the ability of our leaders to govern, ”said Porter..
“It is also designed to weaken the adversary from within by identifying real socio-political issues, driving wedges into these cracks and [widening] them through online manipulation and disinformation in an attempt to create an atmosphere of constant cacophony, disorder and conflict,” he said..
“Simply put, in this space, Russia wants to see us tear ourselves apart, while China would like to manage our gradual recession over several generations,” Porter said..
Meanwhile, senior U.S. Democrats have said that President Donald Trump‘s administration should immediately impose sanctions on Russia after U.S. intelligence officials told members of Congress that Russia is apparently trying to influence U.S. elections this year..
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Senators Chuck Schumer, Bob Menendez and Sherrod Brown wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin demanding that the administration “immediately and decisively” impose sanctions on the government in Moscow and all Russians involved in election interference..
A congressional source told Reuters on Friday that intelligence officials told lawmakers that Russia appears to be conducting a disinformation and propaganda campaign to help both would-be Democratic candidate Senator Bernie Sanders and
Trump, who is seeking re-election in November.
The Kremlin on Friday said it would not interfere in the American elections. US law allows administration to propose sanctions against Moscow in response to election interference.
In 2017, Congress passed the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. This was in part a reaction to the intelligence community’s findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections to boost Trump’s chances of winning the White House..
Moscow has denied the allegations, and Trump has repeatedly questioned intelligence findings.
In a letter published on Monday, three senators urged Pompeo and Mnuchin to impose immediate sanctions.
“Any less significant steps will mean giving up your responsibility to protect and defend the United States from this serious threat to our national security and the integrity of our electoral process,” they wrote..
White House and State Department have not yet responded to requests for comment.
Schumer leads the Democratic minority in the Senate. Menendez and Brown are top Democrats on Senate Foreign Relations and Banking Committees overseeing sanctions policy.
Trump replaced the acting director of national intelligence last week. Instead of Joseph Maguire, this work will be performed by the US Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell. Trump was annoyed by Russian meddling briefing for lawmakers, media reported.
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