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US report finds no direct foreign interference in 2018 vote

December 21, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said Friday that his agency has not found any evidence of any direct interference in the midterm elections.

Coats said he has submitted a required report to President Donald Trump that says the intelligence community has not uncovered any compromise of election infrastructure that would have disrupted balloting or changed results.

Coats said the intelligence community did find a continuation of previously disclosed “influence activities” and “messaging campaigns” by countries such as Russia, China and Iran ahead of the election.

He said in a statement issued Friday that the intelligence community did not assess whether those activities affected the outcome of the 2018 election.

The report, not publicly released, was submitted to Trump and is being reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department.

An executive order signed earlier this year requires the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to submit a report assessing foreign interference in U.S. elections within 45 days after the conclusion of the election.

Trump has faced criticism for not doing enough to respond to Russian election interference in 2016, but his administration has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia, Russian entities and individuals over their roles in the election meddling.

While this report does not find interference, it could increase pressure on Trump to prevent foreign influence campaigns ahead of elections scheduled for 2020.

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