US intel: Russia working to defeat Biden; China and Iran prefer Trump defeat
There seem to be balance in the upcoming United States of America’s presidential elections later this year, China, Russia and Iran have intensified their efforts to offer a helping hand to the opposing candidates.. Unlike in 2016 where Russia is said to have been actively involved and were accused of undermining the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
According to an analysis published on Friday by the chief of the National Counter-Intelligence and Security Center, Russia is actively working to “denigrate” presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, while China views President Donald Trump as “unpredictable” and prefers that he not win re-election, according to a new U.S. intelligence assessment. The analysis also concluded that Iran is working to foment division and undermine Trump in advance of the 2020 election.
“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 U.S. pressure on Iran,” the analysis concluded, adding that Iran also feared that the Trump administration would push for regime change.
Friday’s threat assessment went further than a general warning issued last month that U.S. democratic institutions remained a prime target of its most formidable adversaries.
Russia involvement was linked to activities of local politician who is leading a propaganda war against Joe Biden.
“Pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption – including through publicizing leaked phone calls – to undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party,” the report said. “Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television.”
Derkach had leaked fragments of years-old phone conversations between Biden and former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, which sought to connect then-Vice President Biden to a discredited effort to protect his son’s business dealings in the country.
Meanwhile in China, top officials have been “expanding its influence efforts” ahead of the election “to shape the policy environment in USA and also exert pressure on political figures that seem keen on opposing China’s interests.”
“Although China will continue to weigh the risks and benefits of aggressive action, its public rhetoric over the past few months has grown increasingly critical of the current administration’s COVID-19 response, closure of China’s Houston Consulate, and actions on other issues,” the analysis said.
The U.S. analysis noted China’s harsh criticism of the administration’s actions related to Hong Kong and the president’s efforts to ban Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat.
President Trump has waged a months-long trade war with Beijing and accused Chinese officials of allowing the coronavirus to spread into a pandemic.
the U.S. intelligence analysis also issued a warning:
“Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters’ preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people’s confidence in our democratic process. They may also seek to compromise our election infrastructure for a range of possible purposes, such as interfering with the voting process, stealing sensitive data, or calling into question the validity of the election results.”