Russian efforts to ‘weaponize’ social media still going on — and other countries are learning from them: US officials
FBI Director Chris Wray/C-SPAN screen shot

FBI Director Christopher Wray and NSA Director General Paul Nakasone told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russian efforts to 'weaponize' social media platforms haven't stopped since the 2016 elections, and they expect future efforts to disrupt and divide the American people.


Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) said that the committee had requested third party reports on Russian election meddling in 2016 and asked Nakasone if the intelligence community could furnish them with something similar. Nakasone replied that doing such a study was "outside our authorities" but said the third party reports had informed efforts to protect the 2018 elections.

"As we prepared for the 2018 mid-terms we took a very, very close look at the information provided there," he said. "We understood our adversary very well and understood where their vulnerabilities also lie."

"Is it the IC's assessment that this country's adversaries continue to use U.S. social media platforms as a vehicle for weaponizing disinformation and spreading foreign influence in the United States?" Burr asked Wray.

"Yes, that's certainly the FBI's assessment," Wray replied. "Not only the Russians continued to do it in 2018, but we have seen indication that they're continuing to adapt the model and that other countries are taking a very interested eye in that approach."

"It's certainly NSA's assessment as well Mr. Chairman," added Nakasone.

Watch the video below.