FBI Chief: Fear of rigged election in U.S. is “a perception, not a reality”

Testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the U.S. has seen an effort by Russian-backed actors to interfere in the election but that those efforts do not appear to have been fruitful. But Wray also said he’s not as worried about foreign interference as he is about collapsing confidence in the integrity of American elections.

“The steady drumbeat of misinformation and amplification of small instructions, I worry, contribute over time to a lack of confidence in American voters and citizens in the validity of their vote. That would be a perception, not a reality,” Wray told the committee.

President Trump has repeatedly warned that Democrats are trying to push mail-in voting so they can commit ballot fraud and throw the November election to Joe Biden. Attorney General William Barr, whom Wray reports to at the U.S. Department of Justice, has repeatedly lied about the extent of voter fraud efforts in the United States. They may be contributing to a general perception that the November election will be fraudulent.

Wray warned that the FBI “can’t be the truth police” and that there’s no way for them to effective counteract electoral disinformation. Instead, he said, local and state governments need to do a better job at getting Americans to check official sources for information about voting and elections.