With the US presidential elections around the corner, intelligence reports suggest of possible interference by foreign elements. And this is nothing new as five years ago, Russia made sure that Hilary Clinton, the then-Democratic nominee, didn’t come to power and proved successful at that too as Donald Trump took up the presidentship.
William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, many ‘foreign actors’ have views on who should hold the White House. “We are primarily concerned about the ongoing and potential activity by China, Russia and Iran,” he said.
Evanina warned that foreign states would continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway US voters’ preferences and perspectives, shift US policies, increase discord in the United States and undermine the American people’s confidence in the democratic process.
President Trump at a news conference on Friday said his administration would look into this very closely. Intelligence reports reveal that Russia is not for Democratic nominee Joe Biden to hold office, but Trump said, “I think that the last person Russia wants to see in the office is Donald Trump. When a reporter told him otherwise, Trump shot back, “Well, I don’t care what anybody says!” “Nobody with any common sense would say that Russia wanted him to win,” the President said.
Intelligence sources said China, Iran and Russia interference is attributed to Trump and Biden’s campaign trail. Trump has lately upped his anti-China policies and criticized Beijing for its handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has taken an immense toll on the United States. Biden has alleged the Trump administration for failing to address Russian threats abroad, and his campaign in this regards has picked pace.
In a statement, Evanina said the Americans are together in this. ‘’Our election should be our own. Foreign efforts to influence or interfere with our elections are a direct threat to the fabric of our democracy.” He said China wants Trump to lose because Beijing sees him as unpredictable. Moreover, China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, political pressure figures it views as opposed to China’s interests and deflects and counter-criticism of China.
And in regards to Iran, Tehran is trying to undermine US democratic institutions, as well as Trump and to divide the United States before elections. Tehran’s motivation to conduct such activities is, in part, driven by a perception that President Trump’s re-election would result in a continuation of US pressure on Iran to incite regime change.
John Ullyot, the National Security Council spokesman, in a statement, said the US is working to identify and disrupt foreign influence efforts targeting the country’s political system. The White House assured Americans that the US will not tolerate foreign interference in their electoral processes and will respond to malicious foreign threats.