The United States intelligence community’s top election security official said on Friday that China “prefers” an outcome where President Donald Trump is not re-elected in November and Russia is working to “denigrate” former Vice President Joe Biden’s White House bid.
The director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Centre, William R. Evanina, disclosed this in a statement updating the election threat landscape heading into the November election.
He said: “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.”
“We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment.’ 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.”
According to Evanina, Iran is also seeking to “undermine US democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country.”
In essence, the US director’s statement put two of the biggest American adversaries on opposite sides of the election: Russia for Trump and China for Biden, the CNN reports.
It is also the clearest the intelligence community has been in suggesting Russia prefers one candidate over the other in the 2020 race.
At a news conference at his Bedminster, New Jersey, country club on Friday night, Trump appeared reluctant to accept the intelligence community findings.
Asked if he believes the intelligence, the President replied, “It could be. I mean it could be, very much.”