After the pro-Trump hack-and-leak operations and disinformation campaigns that roiled the 2016 US election, the country braced for a second round of no-holds-barred foreign interference last year. But US intelligence agencies have now confirmed that didn’t entirely come to pass. The 2020 election was hit with meddling, trolling, and disinformation operations like those of 2016—but not the outright efforts to hack election infrastructure or political campaigns themselves.
On Tuesday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified report that outlines findings from US intelligence agencies including the CIA, NSA, FBI, and DHS on the overall picture of election interference by foreign actors in 2020. Those agencies agree that while more foreign powers than ever before attempted to influence the outcome of the election—using everything from disinformation to voter intimidation emails to social media campaigns—none actually seems to have used hackers to attempt to disrupt the election or access election infrastructure as they did in 2016.