August 8, 2020 at 11:20 AM EDT
Russia is interfering with 2020 election, experts warn
Russia is “using a range of measures” to interfere in the 2020 election and has enlisted a pro-Russian lawmaker from Ukraine — who has met with President Trump’s personal lawyer — “to undermine former vice president [Joe] Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party,” a top U.S. intelligence official said in a statement Friday.
The remarks by William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, were some of the most detailed to date about foreign interference in the presidential race and come after earlier criticism from Democratic lawmakers that Evanina had not shared with the public some of the alarming intelligence he gave them in classified briefings.
Evanina also said that the government of China does not want Trump to win reelection in November, seeing the incumbent as “unpredictable.” Evanina described China’s efforts to date as largely rhetorical and aimed at shaping policy and criticizing the Trump administration for actions Beijing sees as harmful to its long-term strategic interests.
By contrast, Evanina described Russia as actively engaged in efforts that are reminiscent of the Kremlin’s attempts to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. “We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former vice president Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment,’ ” Evanina said.
By Shane Harris, Ellen Nakashima and Josh Dawsey