Foreign interference in U.S. democracy isn’t just about Russia — and it shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Foreign-backed cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, and hack and leak efforts aimed at damaging our democratic system only exacerbate the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. China has shown an increasing willingness to adopt more aggressive “Russian-style” information manipulation tactics to mislead Americans about the coronavirus. U.S. state and local officials are rightfully working to adjust election day plans to account for the pandemic, and foreign actors could seize on changes to try to mislead Americans about the voting process. Ultimately, these efforts are part of a longer continuum to undermine democracy in the United States, regardless of who occupies the White House or which party controls Congress.
In a bipartisan duo, Head of External Relations Rachael Dean Wilson and Deputy Director Dave Salvo joined the Tennessee World Affairs Council to discuss the tools and tactics used by authoritarian actors like Russia, China, and Iran to accomplish these goals ahead of the 2020 election and beyond.