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Maricopa County recorder contacted DHS cyber agency for help with social media partnerships

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Maricopa County’s recorder Stephen Richer sought the support of the DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to fight alleged election misinformation. Richer, a Republican, created a political action committee (PAC) to support anti-Trump Republican candidates.

Donald Trump’s attorney Christina Bobb tweeted a report by CISA showing that Richer appeared before the CISA’s Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Misinformation and Disinformation Subcommittee. Richer briefed members of the subcommittee on fighting election misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation. Bobb got the documents from Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s lawyers, who got them from a legal discovery.

The documents show that Richer suggested that CISA hold bootcamps for media representatives such as FOX News or CNN to enhance the media’s understanding of how elections are administered.” He added that the “malinformation” his office had come across included “Abuse of Arizona’s permissive public records process,” claiming that they received over 350 public records requests in 2021 alone regarding the 2020 election.

Richer told the subcommittee that the election misinformation continued to spread “the pressure on his staff will continue to build and it will become difficult to perform statutory responsibilities needed to establish safe, credible, and fair elections.”

He asked the subcommittee to support election officials in five key areas:

“- Educate the public and determine how people are manipulating the public’s understanding of the truth;
– Funding and resources;
– Intelligence and metrics;
– Partnership with social media; and
– Share best practices on pre-bunking.”

Republicans are calling for an investigation into Katie Hobbs, who was certified as the winner of the gubernatorial race, after it was revealed that her office flagged tweets to a third party. The tweets were soon deleted.

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