‘China, Russia and Iran trying to influence 2020 election’

'China, Russia and Iran trying to influence 2020 election'
William Evanina warned of ongoing foreign interference in the 2020 election. Source: Getty Images
3 Min Read

Daily US Times: A top US intelligence chief has warned that China, Russia, and Iran are among countries seeking to influence the US presidential election this year.

The director of US counterintelligence said is a statement that foreign states were using “covert and overt influence measures” to sway the election.

The statement said China did not want President Donald Trump’s re-election while Russia wanted to hurt Democrat Joe Biden.

Russia has been accused by US intelligence chiefs of interfering in the 2016 election.

They say Moscow wanted to help boost Mr Trump’s campaign, including by spreading disinformation online. Russia has denied the allegations of interfering.

On Friday, President Trump was asked what he planned to do about the report on election interference. He replied that his administration would look “very closely” into it.

The announcement comes amid claims by Mr Trump about the dangers of postal ballots or mail-in. He has suggested that the vote be delayed to prevent “the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history”, sparking a backlash even among members of his own party.

It also follows complaints by Democratic lawmakers that US intelligence agencies are not releasing information to the public about foreign interference in this year’s vote.

Mr Trump, a Republican, is seeking to win a second term in office. His challenger is Democratic candidate and former vice president Joe Biden.

What does the statement say?

The head of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC), William Evanina released the statement on Friday.

Mr Evanina said that foreign countries are trying to sway voter preferences, change US policies, “increase discord” in the country “and undermine the American people’s confidence in our democratic process”.

Her however added that it would be “difficult for our adversaries to interfere with or manipulate voting results at scale.”

Many countries “have a preference for who wins the election”, he added, but Mr Evanina said they were “primarily concerned” about China, Russia and Iran:

The statement of the counterintelligence says, China “prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win re-election”, and has been “expanding its influence efforts” ahead of the vote.

Russia is seeking to “denigrate” potential Democratic candidate tMr Biden’s candidacy and other members of a perceived “anti-Russia ‘establishment'”. Mr Evanina added that some other actors linked to Russia “are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television”

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