A top U.S. official revealed on Friday that the majority of nations that pose the greatest threat to the upcoming elections are working to ensure that President Donald Trump loses re-election.
National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) Director William Evanina said in a statement that foreign states were attempting to interfere in the upcoming election through “covert and overt” influence operations.
“Many foreign actors have a preference for who wins the election, which they express through a range of overt and private statements; covert influence efforts are rarer,” Evanina said. “We are primarily concerned about the ongoing and potential activity by China, Russia, and Iran.”
Evanina revealed that China—which is widely considered to be the greatest threat to U.S. national security and to freedom around the world—is working to make sure that Trump does not win re-election.
On China, the NCSC assessed:
We assess that China prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win reelection. China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 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. Although China will continue to weigh the risks and benefits of aggressive action, its public rhetoric over the past few months has grown increasingly critical of the current Administration’s COVID-19 response, closure of China’s Houston Consulate, and actions on other issues. For example, it has harshly criticized the Administration’s statements and actions on Hong Kong, TikTok, the legal status of the South China Sea, and China’s efforts to dominate the 5G market. Beijing recognizes that all of these efforts might affect the presidential race.
The report also stated that the NCSC believes that Iran is working to “undermine” Trump and is trying to divide the country ahead of the elections.
“Iran’s efforts along these lines probably will focus on on-line influence, such as spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-U.S. content,” the report stated. “Tehran’s motivation to conduct such activities is, in part, driven by a perception that President Trump’s reelection would result in a continuation of U.S. pressure on Iran in an effort to foment regime change.”
The report added that Russia was looking to “denigrate” presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden and noted that some “Kremlin-linked actors” were promoting Trump’s candidacy.
Donald Trump Jr. responded to the report by writing on Twitter, “The Chinese Communist Party wants @realDonaldTrump to lose in Nov because they know he’s TOUGH and always puts America First. They want @JoeBiden to win in Nov because they know he’s WEAK and has a 50 year record of selling out American workers to the Chinese Communist Party!”
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