Officials are checking security and conducting drills as the US prepares for the election. But not all threats come from outside the United States
Democratic leaders in Congress on Sunday called for the publication of an intelligence report on foreign meddling in the 2020 election so voters can be more informed of efforts. that compared to 2016.
“The American people need to know what the Russians are doing in this case, and the American people believe they should decide who is the next president, not Vladimir Putin,” said House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who appeared above. Fox News Sunday “says and CNN’s” State of the Union, “refers to the Russian president.
On Friday, William Evanina – director of the Center for Counter-espionage and National Security, under the Office of Director of National Intelligence – released a statement saying “foreign nations will continue to use public and confidential influence measures to influence American voters’ preferences and attitudes, change US policies, increase discord in the United States, and weaken hearts news of the American people in our democratic process. ”
China, Russia and Iran are the top concerns, Evanina said. He said while Russia is working to “push” President Donald Trump to run for office, China and Iran are working to prevent his re-election.
But Pelosi says Russia’s efforts on Trump’s behalf are on a different level than those of China and Iran.
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“They’re not equivalent,” she said. “Russia is actively intervening, 24/7 in our elections. They did so in 2016, and they are doing so now,” Pelosi said. On the other hand, China may prefer Biden “but they don’t really participate in the presidential election.”
Evanina’s statement said “Russia is using a series of measures to primarily defame” former Vice President Joe Biden, the supposedly Democratic candidate. It did not provide details, but said, “Some actors connected with the Kremlin are also looking to promote President Trump’s candidacy on Russian social media and television.”
On the contrary, the statement said China views Trump as “unpredictable” and cites its “public” rhetoric and statements as an example of Trump’s re-election.
National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien defended the administration’s handling of election security on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” channel and said “it’s not just Russia” trying to intervene.
“There is no greater concern than maintaining the free and fair elections that are the foundation of our democracy,” said O’Brien. “We know that there are people abroad, the Chinese, the Iranians, the Russians, others who want to interfere with our democracy. And we will fight against that. And we will.” will take all necessary steps to harden our electoral infrastructure, strengthen our network architecture, and secure 100% of our elections. ”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Wrote in the Washington Post on Friday that the DNI’s statement “only hinted at threats” to the election and details he saw in a Briefings are classified as “chills.”
“I believe that the American public needs and deserves to know them. Information should be declassified immediately.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, DN.Y. Sunday said on ABC News’ “This week,” that he agrees that information surrounding election interference should be declassified “without affecting the sources.”
Pelosi: Congress appears to be the target of a ‘coordinated foreign intervention campaign’.
The DNI statement said Russia was particularly focused on Biden’s work in Ukraine under the Obama administration and called the “pro-Russian Ukrainian congressman Andriy Derkach” a figure “that spread claims of corruption – including including the publicity of leaked phone calls – aimed at undermining former Vice President Biden’s candidacy. ”
Trump was impeached in December for allegedly exploiting military aid to pressure Ukraine into publishing corruption investigations involving Biden and his son, Hunter. The President was finally acquitted of the Senate’s impeachment articles.
Schumer links Russia’s attempt to defame Biden with an investigation by the Homeland Security Committee and Senate Government led by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., Led with Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine. He said Johnson and Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., are conducting the probe “based on false Russian intelligence.”
“They should be ashamed of what they’re doing, let the Russians manipulate them and we, the American people,” Schumer said.
Schumer urged the administration to impose additional sanctions on Russia, but O’Brien said that “almost nothing” remains of Russia to punish as the Trump administration has taken a lot of anti-action. back to the country.
“There is not much that we can do with the Russians,” he said, “However, we continue to text the Russians. And President Trump continues to text the Russians: ‘don’t interfere. Our election. ‘”
But O’Brien declined to comment when asked if Trump told Putin not to interfere in the US election in their most recent conversation.
“Unlike some of my predecessors or others that leaked documents, I do not participate in the conversations the president has with foreign heads of state,” O’Brien said in a statement. Clear update with former national security advisor John Bolton. “Those are private conversations.”
Trump questioned the intelligence community’s unanimous assessment that Russia tried to influence the election in his favor in 2016.
In response to DNI’s statement, Trump said Friday at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey “I think the last person Russia wants to meet at his term is Donald Trump because no one is more adamant with Russia. me – ever “.
But the president seems to agree with the intelligence that China does not want him re-elected. “If Joe Biden is the president, China will own our country,” Trump said.
Contribution: Associated Press
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