“ “They’re the New England Patriots of messing with elections. I think they do it better than anybody else.” ”
That’s Dan Coats, President Donald Trump’s former Director of National Intelligence, in an interview with CBS News on Thursday, referring to Russia’s efforts to interfere with the U.S. presidential election.
“I am absolutely clear that by the intelligence we have gathered that we have full confidence that the Russians are going after our elections,” Coats said. “They’re trying to undermine our confidence in democracy. They’re doing it now. They’re gonna continue to do it, and the American people need to know that.”
Coats added that he has no doubt Russia interfered in the 2016 election, despite Trump’s repeated pronouncements that that was “a hoax,” and said Russia has “developed a clear preference” for Trump in the election.
He also told CBS News that he’s worried about what will happen on Election Day, but, despite Trump’s assertations, he’s seen no evidence of election fraud. “The people I have talked to who are looking at this have basically said they have not seen this, at least at this point,” he said.