The federal government has determined that foreign interference campaigns had no material impact on the outcomes of the 2018 midterm elections. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security announced Feb. 5 that they have submitted a classified report to President Donald Trump in accordance with an executive order issued last year to root out and investigate foreign interference targeting American elections or campaigns. “Although the specific conclusions within the joint report must remain classified, the Departments have concluded there is no evidence to date that any identified activities of a foreign government or foreign agent had a material impact on the integrity or security of election infrastructure or political [and] campaign infrastructure used in the 2018 midterm elections for the United States Congress,” said DOJ in a statement.
The conclusions represent the second half of an interagency process created late last year to assess whether foreign governments made any efforts to hack into voting machines and election systems or alter voter behavior through covert influence campaigns on social platforms and other media.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence made an initial assessment to the president shortly before Christmas, when Director Dan Coats said there was “no intelligence reporting that indicates any compromise” of election infrastructure that would have changed vote totals. The report did find that Russia, China and Iran “conducted influence activities and messaging campaigns targeted at the United States to promote their strategic interests,” but ODNI did not assess whether those campaigns had any effect on the results 2018 congressional elections.