US intelligence: Russia, China and Iran will try to interfere in election

Top US counterintelligence official warns that Russia, China and Iran will all try to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

2020 US election pins
2020 US election pins

The top US counterintelligence official on Friday warned that Russia, China and Iran will all try to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, saying Russia is already trying to undercut presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

In an unusual public statement quoted by Reuters, William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said those countries were using online disinformation and other means to try to influence voters, stir up disorder and undermine American voters’ confidence in the democratic process.

Foreign adversaries also may try to interfere with US election systems by trying to sabotage the voting process, stealing election data, or calling into question the validity of election results.

“It would be difficult for our adversaries to interfere with or manipulate voting results at scale,” Evanina insisted.

Multiple reviews by US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia acted to boost President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and undercut his rival Hillary Clinton’s chances in that election.

Russia has denied any interference in the 2016 election. Trump has acknowledged intelligence information indicating that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, though at times he has also denounced what he calls the "Russia hoax".

Evanina warned on Friday that Russia is already going after former Vice President Biden and what it regards as an anti-Russia US “establishment.”

Evanina said Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russia Ukrainian politician, has been “spreading claims about corruption - including through publicized leaked phone calls” to undermine Biden’s campaign and the Democratic Party.

Evanina said “Kremlin-linked actors” also are trying to “boost President Trump’s candidacy via social media and Russian television.”

He said his agency assessed that China would prefer that Trump not win re-election, because Beijing regards him as too unpredictable.

Evanina also said Iran is likely to use online tactics such as spreading disinformation to discredit US institutions and President Trump and to stir up voters’ discontent.

Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for Trump’s re-election campaign, said that Trump has been “tougher on Russia than any administration in history.”

“We don’t need or want foreign interference, and President Trump will beat Joe Biden fair and square,” Murtaugh added.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)