Russia and China are trying to undermine US democracy in the run-up to November’s presidential election, Joe Biden said, citing intelligence briefings he is now receiving.
“The Russians are still engaged in trying to delegitimise our electoral process. Fact,” the presumptive Democratic challenger said at a fundraiser on Friday according to the Washington Post.
Biden fears election interference from China and Russia
“China and others are engaged as well in activities that are designed for us to lose confidence in the outcome,” he added.
Biden has warned in the past about Russian interference, but it was perhaps the former vice president’s bluntest warning to date about a potential replay of the 2016 election.
The U.S. government in recent weeks has started briefing the presidential campaigns and the national parties about election threats from foreign adversaries, The Washington Post reported last month. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is spearheading the effort, and National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina is leading the briefings.
It is normal for presidential nominees of the major parties to have intelligence briefings, though it is not clear when Biden started to receive his.
On June 30 he said he may ask for a briefing, but that he had not been offered one up until then.
Will Russians again influence 2020 US Elections?
Security officials warned at the end of last year foreign adversaries would attempt to interfere in the 2020 elections, to “undermine our democratic institutions, influence public sentiment and affect government policies.”
US intelligence found that Russia intervened in the 2016 elections to support Donald Trump, who has bristled at the charges and called for better ties with Putin.
During the Friday evening fundraiser, Biden also reiterated that what concerns him the most is access to voting, in addition to interference from Russia and China.
“Frankly, this is the thing that keeps me up most at night,” Biden said. “Making sure everyone who wants to vote can vote. Making sure that the vote is counted, making sure we’re all trusting in the integrity of the results of the election.”
“Our campaign has undertaken a historic effort in both the commitment to and the attempt to provide for significant help to beat back voter suppression and every attempt at election interference,” Biden added. “We only have a few months, so we’ve got to get this right.”
Hackers from China, Russia & Iran may target US Campaigns
Google announced in early June that China and Iran and Russia based government hackers had targeted the Gmail accounts of staffers working on Biden and Trump campaigns. There were no signs that the accounts were compromised, according to the announcement from a Google threat analyst.
Microsoft warned last year that at least one presidential campaign was being targeted by an Iranian state-backed cyber operation. Reports said the effort targeted a Trump campaign staffer.
A group Microsoft dubbed “Phosphorous” tried to identify email accounts of targets that included US officials, journalists covering global politics, prominent Iranians living outside that country and a presidential campaign.
Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter security teams met last year with FBI, homeland security and intelligence officials to discuss collaboration on election threats.
Country that most influences US Elections: Israel?
According to a report by Business Insider, foreign interference in US Elections is more widespread than Americans think.
The report says that the foreign government that has long been most active in interfering in US politics and US elections is that of Israel. The only reason Israel’s most organized and influential advocates in the United States have not registered as foreign agents is that the influence thus bought has dissuaded US politicians from pushing for such registration.
It added that with Netanyahu in Washington, Trump now will do more of the mutual political back-scratching between a president who is currently the defendant in an impeachment trial and a prime minister who is under indictment in his own country for corruption.
Partisanship in the United States has impeded in a couple of different ways full and open discussion of the problem of foreign interference in domestic American politics. When both parties have been involved in this interference, neither wants to talk about it.
GVS News Desk with additional input by Agencies other sources