Report: DNI Coats Concludes Russian ‘Propagandists’ Tried to Influence Voters Before Midterms

A new U.S. intelligence report delivered to the White House on Friday concludes “Russian internet propagandists” attempted to influence voters before the 2018 midterm election, BuzzFeed News reports. The report, overseen by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, reportedly does not address the effectiveness of the Russian effort—but does conclude there was “no corresponding campaign” compromising U.S. voting infrastructure. An official also told the website the report found “considerably less” Russian activity in 2018 than what was observed in the 2016 election, but said the intelligence community was “prepping for a return to that level in 2020.” In a statement, Coats reportedly confirmed that Russia, China and Iran “conducted influence activities and messaging campaigns targeted at the United States to promote their strategic interests.” Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told BuzzFeed News the government can expect “more and more adversaries trying to take advantage of the openness” of American society.