China, Russia Are Interfering in Campaigns, Intelligence Shows

Beijing is working against Trump, Russia against Biden, official says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2020 4:30 PM CDT
China, Russia Are Interfering in Campaign, Intelligence Shows
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vice President Joe Biden walk down the red carpet during an arrival ceremony in Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, in 2015.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

China and Russia are interfering in the US presidential campaign, according to an intelligence report, with both parties' candidates as targets. "We assess that China prefers that President Trump—whom Beijing sees as unpredictable—does not win reelection," said William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, ABC reports. The Chinese government has broadened its campaign "to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China's interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China," he said. Democrats in Congress had criticized Evanina, saying he needed to inform the public of the external threats he told lawmakers about in classified meetings, per the Washington Post.

Russia, on the other hand, is working to "denigrate" Democrat Joe Biden, as well as "what it sees as an anti-Russia 'establishment,'" Evanina wrote. "This is consistent with Moscow's public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration's policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia." The statement is the most straightforward yet from US intelligence officials about Russia's support, per CNN. The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee praised the disclosure Friday. Sens. Marco Rubio and Mark Warner asked "political leaders on all sides to refrain from weaponizing intelligence matters for political gain, as this only furthers the divisive aims of our adversaries." (More Election 2020 stories.)

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