The whole world is excited about the US election scheduled for November 2020 – sometimes a little too much to the taste of the country’s intelligence services. On Friday, August 7, the National Center for Counter-Intelligence and Security (NCSC) released a statement reporting foreign attempts to interfere in American political life.
According to the NCSC, China would prefer Donald Trump, considered to be “Unpredictable” by Beijing, not be reelected in the US presidential election on November 3, and “Stepped up its influence efforts” before the ballot. Iran is also trying “To weaken President Trump and divide the country”, via “An online influencer campaign, spreading fake news and anti-American content.”
Conversely, Russia uses “Several levers especially to denigrate” his Democratic rival Joe Biden, who had defended the Russian opposition when he was a member of the Barack Obama administration. “Kremlin-related actors seek to support President Trump’s candidacy on social media and on Russian television,” he noted. According to the American intelligence services, Moscow had already campaigned for Donald Trump in 2016.
Transparency, a weapon against interference
“It seems difficult for our adversaries to interfere or manipulate the results on a large scale”, said William Evanina, director of the NCSC, while demonstrating “Concerns” on these influence campaigns.
The heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee, for their part, considered that making this information public was “The best way to fight” foreign interference. But “We encourage politicians from both parties not to use this intelligence as a political weapon, as it would serve the interests of our adversaries”, added Republican elected official Marco Rubio and his fellow Democrat Mark Warner.