National Security & Defense

Election Security Officials Warn of Chinese, Russian, and Iranian Interference

A polling station in Brooklyn, N.Y., November 4, 2014 (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

China, Russia, and Iran are attempting to influence the U.S. general elections via propaganda and other means, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

While China and Iran are trying to sway the outcome against President Trump, Russia is attempting to prevent a victory for Joe Biden. The conclusions are based on assessments from the U.S. Intelligence Community.

“We assess that China prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win reelection,” William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, a branch of the ODNI, said in a statement on Friday. “China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China”

However, Evanina continued, “Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment’….Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television.”

Meanwhile, Iran is “spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-U.S. content” in order to “undermine U.S. democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), acting chariman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said earlier on Friday that the specific efforts by Russia were aimed at dividing the country.

“The election landscape, the interference landscape, has gotten incredibly complex … none of these people are Republicans or Democrats,” Rubio told CNN. “They want us to get us to fight against each other. There are multiple nations now involved in this. And stay tuned.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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