American Anti-Trump Group Helped Iranian Election Interference Go Viral
Rick Wilson's The Lincoln Project promoted voter disinformation campaign on Twitter
An American anti-Trump group helped an Iranian election interference campaign to go viral on social media, according to reports.
The Lincoln Project, led by Republican "Never Trumper" Rick Wilson, promoted a disinformation campaign on Twitter that U.S. intelligence officials have revealed was being run by Iran.
The political group appears to have helped the Iranian effort to interfere in the coming U.S. presidential election that sought to sway voters away from President Donald Trump.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that federal authorities concluded Iran was behind a string of threatening emails targeting Democratic voters in swing states.
The email senders claimed to be members of the Proud Boys, a fringe right-wing group.
The campaign sought to frighten people into voting Democrat by sending “spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump.”
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed the Iranian efforts during a surprise press conference Wednesday evening.
Ratcliffe told reporters that “we have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump.
"You may have seen some reporting on this in the last 24 hours or you may have even been one of the recipients of those emails.”
The group helped the Iranian campaign garner more than 12,000 retweets by amplifying the false claim that the Proud Boys were trying to intimidate Democratic voters.
“The Proud Boys are attempting to scare voters away from the polls,” the Lincoln Project tweet said.
"This is punishable by up to a year in jail and a blatant attempt to prevent people from voting.
"Let’s find them and make them famous."
And now they deleted it pic.twitter.com/wwnIXkD0SF— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) October 22, 2020
Iran has previously been caught running anti-Trump influence campaigns.
Iran used hundreds of fake Facebook and Twitter accounts to run an anti-Trump, pro-Bernie Sanders propaganda effort, the two companies announced in August 2018.