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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The heads of government agencies including the FBI, Department of Justice and National Security Agency warned in a joint security statement Tuesday that foreign actors would seek to interfere in the 2020 election.

Russia, China, Iran, and other foreign malicious actors all will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions."

Why it matters: The announcement comes as House Democrats probe whether President Trump pressed Ukraine to interfere in next year's election by asking the nation’s leader to investigate his potential 2020 opponent former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

  • Former special counsel Robert Mueller said during testimony on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election that "many more countries are developing capabilities to replicate what the Russians have done. ... They are doing it as we sit here and they expect to do it during the next campaign."
  • There's now a federal investigation into the Trump-Russia probe.

The big picture: The Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security, Director of National Intelligence and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are the other agencies named in the statement declaring election security a "top priority for the United States government.”

  • The statement noted that the 2020 election was less than a year away, while "dozens of states and local jurisdictions are hosting their own elections across the country" on Tuesday.

What they're saying: In an unprecedented level of coordination, the agencies said the U.S. government "is working with all 50 states and U.S. territories, local officials, and private sector partners to identify threats, broadly share information, and protect the democratic process."

  • They said they're committed to quickly sharing information, providing support and defending against threats to U.S. democracy. They urged Americans to go to trusted sources and officials for election information and to report any suspicious activity to their local officials, the FBI or DHS.
"Our adversaries want to undermine our democratic institutions, influence public sentiment, and affect government policies. ... Adversaries may try to accomplish their goals through a variety of means, including social media campaigns, directing disinformation operations, or conducting disruptive or destructive cyberattacks on state and local infrastructure."

Yes, but: The agencies said there's no evidence at this time "of a compromise or disruption to election infrastructure that would enable adversaries to prevent voting, change vote counts, or disrupt the ability to tally votes, we continue to vigilantly monitor any threats to U.S. elections."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
9 mins ago - Economy & Business

Small businesses see hiring as No. 1 worry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Almost every small business owner in a Goldman Sachs survey is having trouble hiring — and two-thirds think the federal government has done too little to ease their hiring, supply-chain and inflation worries.

Why it matters: The Goldman Sachs research gives a vivid window into the continuing headwinds and hardship for entrepreneurs.

13 mins ago - World

NATO sends ships, fighter jets to eastern Europe over Russia threat

Service members of Russia's Eastern Military District units attend a welcoming ceremony as they arrive at unfamiliar training ranges in Belarus. Photo: Russian Defence Ministry/TASS via Getty Images

NATO said Monday it's sending more ships and fighter jets to eastern Europe due to Russia's buildup of troops near Ukraine.

Driving the news: "NATO Allies are putting forces on standby and sending additional ships and fighter jets to NATO deployments in eastern Europe, reinforcing Allied deterrence and defense as Russia continues its military build-up in and around Ukraine," per a NATO statement.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. chargés d'affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and nonessential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

The latest: The United Kingdom's Foreign Office announced Monday it was also withdrawing some embassy staff and dependants from Ukraine's capital "in response to the growing threat from Russia," but added the British Embassy would remain open.