China would prefer that Donald Trump, considered an “unpredictable” character by Beijing, lose re-election in the November US presidential elections and has “increased its interference efforts” in the face of the vote, the United States intelligence services estimated this Friday.
Iran is also trying to “weaken” the current US president, while on his side Russia is interfering to damage the campaign of Trump’s Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, said in a statement William Evanina, director of the National Center for Counterintelligence and Security ( NCSC).
“We assess that China prefers that President Trump, whom Beijing considers unpredictable, not win re-election,” Evanina said. “China has been expanding its influencing efforts before November 2020 to shape the political environment in the United States, pressuring political figures it considers to be opposed to China’s interests, and deflecting and countering criticism of China,” said the head of the intelligence center. “Beijing recognizes that all these efforts can affect the presidential campaign,” he added.
For his part, Donald Trump welcomed the warning. “China would love if we had an election in which Donald Trump lost to the sleepy Joe Biden,” he told reporters. “They would dream, they would be masters of our country.”
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The director of the NCSC also explained that Iran is spreading disinformation on social media to divide the country and affect Trump, while Moscow is interfering to damage the campaign of its Democratic opponent Joe Biden. “Russia is using a series of measures to denigrate mainly former Vice President Biden and what it considers an anti-Russian ‘establishment’,” Evanina said.
Trump dismissed the warning that Russia wanted his re-election, claiming that no American leader has been tougher on Moscow than he has. Reminding him that it was his own intelligence agency that issued the warning, he replied, “Well, I don’t care what anyone else says.”
US intelligence has already pointed to an intense Russian-led social media and hacking campaign that in 2016 helped Trump win over Democrat Hillary Clinton.