FBI Director Christopher Wray said Thursday that his agency had not seen evidence of widespread voter fraud through mail-in voting — a stark contrast from President Trump’s ongoing crusade against vote-by-mail ahead of the November election.
“We have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise,” Wray testified before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Thursday.
Wray acknowledged that the FBI had seen voter fraud at the local level “from time to time,” but said that his comment “should in no way be construed as minimizing how seriously we take our responsibility to investigate such incidence or the potential impact those things could have at the local level.”
Wray then doubted the possibility of fraud at the national level.
“To change a federal election outcome by mounting that kind of fraud at scale would be a major challenge for an adversary,” Wray said, before maintaining that the FBI will continue to monitor election-related threats as the country finds itself in “uncharted new territory.”
Wray’s testimony comes a day after the President maintained his baseless argument that mail-in voting leads to voter fraud — which he floated while refusing to commit to a peaceful transferral of power if he were to lose the November election — during a press conference at the White House.
“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it,” Trump said. “And you know who knows it better than anybody else? Democrats know it better than anybody else.”
Last week, Wray warned the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that Russians are deploying “very active” efforts to exert influence on the November presidential election, with a meddling campaign focused on denigrating Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Watch Wray’s remarks below:
FBI Director Wray: "We have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it's by mail or otherwise." pic.twitter.com/AuJz851rvt
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 24, 2020