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FBI director warns that 2018 election interference was just 'dress rehearsal' for 2020

Russia, he says, still 'poses a very significant counterintelligence threat'

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that Russian interference attempts during the 2018 midterm elections were just a "dress rehearsal" for the 2020 presidential election.

What did he say?

Speaking to Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Wray said that while law enforcement agencies had made "enormous strides" since the 2016 president election, the toughest fight was still in front of them.

Wray was confirmed as FBI director in August 2017, replacing James Comey who had been fired by President Donald Trump in May of that year.

Wray said that Russia "poses a very significant counterintelligence threat," particularly when it comes to cybercrime.

"I think we recognize that our adversaries are going to keep adapting and upping their game. And so we're very much viewing 2018 as just kind of a dress rehearsal for the big show in 2020," he said.

He also praised "the flow of information back and forth between law enforcement and the intelligence community and Silicon Valley," which he said he thought had gotten "drastically better" between 2016 and 2018.

"I think those companies recognize that there is a need for them to take action, so that their own platforms are not abused," he said. "And so there was — there were a lot of success stories in the midterms, where some of these companies were taking pretty aggressive action on their own, voluntarily, not at our behest or requirement, to enforce terms of use and so forth on their platforms and shutting down and kicking off various accounts that fit into the kind of category we talked about."

What else?

Wray also said that he thought other countries were "watching and taking note of what the Russians attempted to do in 2016 and since."

According to NBC News, applications for internships and jobs as special agents at the FBI have increased this year.

One last thing…
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