He said China had “the most massive program to politically influence the United States,” followed by Iran and then Russia.
U.S. intelligence has discovered that Russia has orchestrated a cyber campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump and there have been reports that hackers may attempt to influence the November 3 election .
Trump has long rejected this conclusion and instead presented himself as a victim of election interference – from Beijing.
“We have made it very clear to the Chinese, Russians, Iranians and others who have not been publicly disclosed that anyone … who attempts to interfere with the US election will face extraordinary consequences,” said O’Brien.Trump-appointed Attorney General William Barr said on Wednesday he believed China was more of a threat than Russia when it came to election interference, also without giving details.
In August, O’Brien said the United States had seen Chinese hackers targeting US electoral infrastructure.
China has always denied accusations by the US government of hacking into US companies, politicians or government agencies.
Asked to comment on O’Brien’s latest remarks, his embassy referred to a Foreign Ministry statement last month that China has no interest in interfering in the US election.
Trump, who has long touted his friendly relations with Chinese President Xi Jinping as he sought to deliver on trade deal promises, made harshness on China a key part of his reelection campaign in November and blames it China Coronavirus pandemic.
In a speech at the Republican national convention last month, Trump said Beijing supports Democratic opponent Joe Biden and “desperately” wants him to win the election.
Asked for specific details on Chinese election interference, O’Brien said:
“I’m not going to go into all the information, but the massive activity of the Chinese kingdom and cyberspace, it really is an extraordinary thing that we are facing.
He called the scope of Chinese activity “relentless”.
“We’ve never seen anything like it. It was no such thing during the Cold War with the Soviets.
Earlier this week, Reuters reported that hackers had stepped up efforts to take the Trump campaign and commercial websites offline ahead of the US election, in what a security firm working for the campaign said could be a preparation to a larger digital attack.