Government Confirms There Were “Direct Attempts” By Foreign Government In Key Election

( – The State Department has condemned the efforts of El Salvador President Nayib Bukele and other Salvadoran officials over allegations that they interfered in the election in California’s 35th Congressional district.

Democrat Congresswoman Norma Torres, who easily won reelection, had accused Bukele, members of his cabinet, and his party of interfering in the race by backing her Republican opponent Mike Cargile.

In a campaign press release issued on November 9, Torres blasted the US judicial system for failing to address “foreign interference in our elections.” She claimed that she had been subjected to “threats, falsehoods, and harassment, both in-person and online,” and claimed some of the online threats “were orchestrated by” Bukele, his cabinet, members of his party, “and even by Consul Generals working in the U.S.”

In a tweet posted in April 2021, President Bukele urged Latin Americans living in California’s 35th District not to vote for Norma Torres.

In an email to NBC News last week, the State Department said it frowns on attempts by foreign leaders to influence an American election.

A State Department spokesperson told NBC News that throughout the midterm elections, it had observed “with alarm” the “direct attempts” from Salvadorans “to directly influence certain electoral outcomes in the United States.”

The spokesperson said the State Department has “repeatedly” made it clear that such interference was “unacceptable” and has “repeatedly communicated this directly to the Government of El Salvador through official diplomatic channels.”

Milena Mayorga, El Salvador’s ambassador to the United States, refused to comment to NBC News on Torres’ allegations, and instead accused Torres of attempting to interfere with El Salvador’s 2021 legislative elections.

Torres has denied Mayorga’s accusation.

The Federal Election Commission told NBC News that while there are rules restricting foreign nationals from donating to US political campaigns, it is unclear whether President Bukele’s tweet violated federal election law.

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