President Trump said on Friday the US would be “very careful” after the intelligence community warned that China, Russia and Iran were seeking to interfere in the 2020 election.
“Well, we’ll look at it very closely,” Trump said when asked during a press conference in Bedminister, NJ, about what he planned to do after an intelligence community review was published.
“You are telling me that this happened a while ago, and I have heard that it appeared. It came out a little while ago, and we’ll look at that very carefully. “
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He said shortly after the intelligence community said that Iran wanted to “weaken” President Trump while Russia was working to “primarily defame” former Vice President Joe Biden, and that China “likes” that Trump “did not win”.
When a reporter asked about Russia, which interfered in the 2016 election, Trump asked why they didn’t start by mentioning the threat from China.
“Do you think China could be a bigger threat? I mean, I think it probably is. I mean, you’ll have to find it, ”he said. “But we will see all of them. We have to be very careful ”.
National Security and Counterintelligence Center director Bill Evanina on Friday revealed more information about those threats.
“Before the 2020 US election, foreign nations will continue to use secret and public influence measures in their efforts to shake the preferences and views of US voters, changing US policy, increasing discord in the United States and undermining the US people’s confidence in Evanina said in a statement.
Bejing prefers Trump to lose because Chinese officials see him as unpredictable, and has tried to influence the election and shape policy by exerting pressure on political figures they see. is against Chinese interests, Evanina said.
Tensions have been high for months between China and the US, with the Trump administration sanctioning top Chinese officials involved in human rights abuses in Xinjiang and suppression of political freedoms in China. Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, Trump has criticized China for handling the COVID-19 outbreak, calling it the “Chinese virus”. He also signed a 45-day ban on TikTok out of concern that the owner of the app, ByteDance Ltd., might share user information with the government.
On Friday, he contrasted that with how he believes Biden will deal with Beijing: “If China makes a deal with the United States with Biden in charge, they’ll own our country.”
Meanwhile, Evanina said the intelligence community assessed “that Russia is using a series of measures to primarily defame former Vice President Biden and what they see as a ‘anti-Russia’ base.”
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“This is in line 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,” Evanina said. the opposition against Putin in Russia ”.
As for Iran, the intelligence community said it “sought to sabotage” democratic institutions, President Trump, and “divide the country” before the election.
“Iran’s efforts in these directions will probably focus on online influences, such as spreading misinformation on social media and the circulation of anti-US content,” Evanina said. “Tehran’s drive to conduct such activities is in part due to the perception that President Trump’s re-election will lead the US to continue to put pressure on Iran in its efforts to promote regime change.”
Evanina, however, assures the public that “IC is also doing everything in its power against both cyber and influencing our electoral targeting efforts.”
“Our election should be ours. Foreign efforts to influence or interfere in our elections are a direct threat to our democratic structure, ”he said.
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Trump seemed to object to that assessment, saying: “I think the last person Russia wants to meet at his term is Donald Trump because no one has been tougher on Russia than I have ever been.”
He also said targeting foreign countries on mailed ballots is a threat to election integrity, stating that “it is much easier to forge ballots and send them over. “.
Fox News Brooke Singman contributed to this report.