U.S. intelligence agencies warned Congress that Russia is expected to ramp up its campaign to meddle in America’s midterm elections in July.
The agencies issued a worldwide threat assessment that predicts Russia will use hackers and social media to target the elections.
“We assess that the Russian intelligence services will continue their efforts to disseminate false information via Russian state-controlled media and covert online personas about U.S. activities to encourage anti-U.S. political views,” the assessment reads.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia was emboldened by its ability to influence the 2016 presidential election.
“There should be no doubt that Russia perceived that its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 U.S. midterm elections as a potential target for Russian midterm operations,” Coats said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin “is likely to increase his use of repression and intimidation to contend with domestic discontent over corruption, poor social services, and a sluggish economy with structural deficiencies,” according to the assessment.