Russia tries to hurt Biden, but China, Iran don’t want Trump

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Russia is trying to “undermine” the candidacy of alleged Democratic candidate Joe Biden, while China and Iran are against the re-election of President Donald Trump, a senior US intelligence official said on Friday.Analysis of the alleged meddling efforts of the three American adversaries came in a statement from William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, who said he released the information to help Americans “play a vital role in safeguarding of our election ”.

While many foreign players have opinions on who should hold the White House, “We are primarily concerned about the current and potential activity of China, Russia and Iran,” said Evanina.

He warned that “foreign states will continue to use covert and overt measures of influence in their attempts to influence the preferences and perspectives of American voters, to change American policies, to increase discord in the States- United and undermine the confidence of the American people in our democratic process ”. November 3 elections.

“We’re all in the same boat as Americans,” Evanina said in the statement. “Our election should be ours. Foreign efforts to influence or interfere with our elections are a direct threat to the fabric of our democracy. “

The presumed preferences of Russia, China and Iran mirror how Trump and Biden spoke about them during the election campaign.

Trump in almost all of his recent appearances has criticized Beijing for its handling of the coronavirus, which first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The virus has since become a pandemic that has wreaked havoc in the United States: more than 4.88 million cases and at least 160,111 deaths from Covid-19 have been reported in the United States, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.

The Trump administration has also consistently condemned Iran and attacked it with punitive economic sanctions.

Biden, meanwhile, criticized Trump for failing to respond to Russian threats abroad – and his campaign continued that line of attack in response to Evanina’s statement.

“Donald Trump has publicly and repeatedly invited, encouraged and even attempted to coerce foreign interference in the US elections,” said Tony Blinken, longtime Biden adviser, in the response.

Evanina’s statement said China wanted Trump to lose in part because Beijing viewed him as “unpredictable.”

“China expanded its influence efforts by November 2020 to shape the political environment in the United States, to pressure politicians it sees as opposed to China’s interests, and to deflect and counter criticism of the China, ”he said.

Regarding Russia, the American intelligence services believe that the Kremlin “uses a series of measures to mainly denigrate former Vice President Biden and what he considers an ‘anti-Russian establishment’. Russian officials “are spreading corruption allegations” to try to “. “Biden and the Democratic Party,” the statement said.

“Some Kremlin-related actors are also looking to bolster President Trump’s candidacy on social media and on Russian television,” he said.

Evanina’s statement also says that Iran “seeks to undermine the democratic institutions of America, President Trump, and divide the country ahead of the 2020 election.”

Iran is likely focused on online influence operations, including disinformation campaigns on social media and the spread of anti-American content.

“Tehran’s motivation to carry out such activities is, in part, driven by the perception that President Trump’s re-election would result in continued US pressure on Iran in an effort to instigate regime change,” Evanina said. .

In response to the intelligence assessment, National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said the United States “will not tolerate foreign interference in our electoral processes and will respond to malicious foreign threats that target our countries. democratic institutions ”.

“The United States is working to identify and disrupt foreign influence efforts targeting our political system, including efforts to suppress voter turnout or to undermine public confidence in the integrity of our elections.” , Ullyot said.

The Trump campaign used the report as fodder for another attack on Biden. “We don’t need or want foreign interference, and President Trump will beat Joe Biden in a fair and equitable manner,” campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.

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