GELLER REPORT - Aug 8, 2020 -
By Bloomberg, August 7, 2020
China and Iran are working to sway U.S. voters against President Donald Trump while Russia is working against his rival, Joe Biden, intelligence agencies said Friday.
“Many foreign actors have a preference for who wins the election, which they express through a range of overt and private statements; covert influence efforts are rarer,” National Counterintelligene and Security Center Director William Evanina said in a statement.
The statement provides the latest intelligence-community assessments of threats by foreign actors to disrupt and influence the election less than three months ahead of the vote.
At the top of the list is China, which sees Trump as “unpredictable” and has been increasingly critical of the president on Covid-19, Hong Kong and TikTok.
Iran also sees a second Trump term as a threat to its regime, and will use online influence to spread disinformation about the election, Evanina said.
But the assessment says Russia, which worked on behalf of Trump and against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign, sees Biden as part of an anti-Russia establishment and will use social media and television to denigrate his candidacy.
Evanina said the intelligence community’s assessments were objective and non-political and that it was briefing both candidates and members of Congress about threats.
Chris Krebs, director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said “Americans should rest assured that we are working to ensure our elections remain secure.”
National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said the U.S. “will respond to malicious foreign threats that target our democratic institutions.”
“The United States is working to identify and disrupt foreign influence efforts targeting our political system, including efforts designed to suppress voter turnout or undermine public confidence in the integrity of our elections,” he said.