The government of China prefers that President Trump not win reelection in November, seeing the incumbent as “unpredictable,” and Russia is using a range of measures to try to “denigrate” the president’s opponent, former vice president Joe Biden, including selective leaks of information and efforts on social media, a top U.S. intelligence official said in a statement Friday.
The statement by William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, was notable for identifying three countries seeking to influence the 2020 election — China, Russia and Iran. But he portrayed Russia as the most active source of interference. Evanina also said that a Ukrainian lawmaker who has been in contact with Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, is part of a Russian disinformation effort.
“[P]ro-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,” Evanina said.
Derkach met in December with Giuliani as part of an effort by the president’s allies to obtain damaging information about Biden in Ukraine, The Washington Post has reported. Giuliani also hosted Derkach on his podcast in February and has said the two have spoken repeatedly about Ukraine and Biden, terming the Ukrainian lawmaker “very helpful.” [Continue reading…]