- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Russia is hardly the only adversary with the ability and interest to interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, a senior intelligence community official warned Tuesday.

Shelby Pierson, the election security threats executive for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said risks facing November’s race are “more diverse” than ever.

“The threats as we go into 2020 are, frankly, more sophisticated,” Ms. Pierson said at an event hosted by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission in Washington, D.C.

“This is not a Russia-only problem,” Ms. Pierson added. “Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, non-state hacktivists all have opportunity, means and potentially motive to come after the United States in the 2020 election to accomplish their goals.”

Formerly a national intelligence crisis manager during the 2018 midterm elections, Ms. Pierson was appointed last year to serve as the ODNI’s first election threats executive, or ETE, making her a principal adviser to the director of national intelligence on all matters related to election security.

Speaking at the National Press Club, Ms. Pierson said safeguarding the U.S. electoral process remains a “top national security priority” as November’s elections near.

“In the midst of all the other challenges that we are facing at this time, I have confidence that we are bringing all of the resources, expertise and information to this problem as we go through this year together,” Ms. Pierson added.

Federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies have previously assessed that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 race that resulted in President Trump’s election, and senior administration officials have since warned that Moscow is inclined to meddle in the current race as well.

Indeed, American cybersecurity firm Area 1 reported on Monday this week that its researchers believe the same group of Russian state-sponsored hackers that compromised Democratic targets during the 2016 race recently set its sight on Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian company with business ties to the family of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, a front-runner among Democrats seeking the party’s nod to run against Mr. Trump in November.

Russia has previously denied hacking U.S. elections.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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