President Donald Trump has insisted that neither China nor Russia want him to be reelected, claiming that China would 'own' the U.S. if Joe Biden were elected to the presidency.
'If Joe Biden was president, China would own our country,' Trump said in remarks at a press conference on Friday night, responding to reports about foreign interference in the November election.
'If China makes a deal with the United States with Joe Biden in charge they would own our country,' he went on.
Asked about reports that Russia is engaged in 'denigrating' Biden to help Trump's campaign, Trump brushed off the concern, saying 'I am the last president Russia wants to see in office.'
'If Joe Biden was president, China would own our country,' Trump said in remarks at a press conference on Friday night in New Jersey
Trump was responding to intelligence reports that claimed China is in favor of Biden
Chinese leader Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, attends the completion and commissioning ceremony for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System in Beijing on July 31
Trump cited his moves to get European members of NATO to increase their defense spending, and his stance against a Russian oil pipeline to Germany, the Nord Stream 2, including the threat of sanctions to halt its construction.
Earlier on Friday, a new warning from U.S. intelligence singled out Russia, China and Iran are attempting to interfere in the election, with Russia allegedly opposed to Biden and China opposed to Trump.
In the case of Russia, the motive appears to be to run down Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden, who is days away from accepting his party's nomination to challenge President Donald Trump.
The assessment came from Bill Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence Security Center, in language that has become commonplace after years of hearings and testimony, as well as indictments of Russian officials alleged to have worked for a Kremlin-backed troll farm that hacked Democratic emails in 2016.
'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.' he said.
But in a new twist, his statements are focusing on the three countries.
U.S. intelligence has assessed that China is hoping President Donald Trump does not win reelection.
This comes after Trump, who campaigned by blasting China trade practices, launched a trade war that knocked down the country's economic growth. Trump has repeatedly attacked China for spreading what he calls the 'China virus,' prompting angry pushback against the administration from Beijing.
Trump has repeatedly mentioned China when confronted about Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. He has also claimed that Biden would be a tool of China. Biden committed an early campaign stumble last May when he appeared to downplay Chinese economic influence.
'China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man,' Biden said.
U.S. intelligence assesses that Russia is taking measures to 'denigrate' Democrat Joe Biden
'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,' said William Evanina, the government's chief counterintelligence officer
President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) as they pose for a group photo ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit leaders gala dinner in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 10, 2017
Russia is seeking to 'denigrate' Democrat Joe Biden, U.S. intelligence says
The assessment says its primary concern is with China, Russia, and Iran. Here Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, speaks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during their meeting in Tehran, Syria, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019
In a statement, Evanina provided the U.S. intelligence agencies' most recent assessment of election threats to the November presidential election.
'Many foreign actors have a preference for who wins the election, which they express through a range of overt and private statements; covert influence efforts are rarer,' Evanina said. 'We are primarily concerned about the ongoing and potential activity by China, Russia, and Iran.'
China views Trump as 'unpredictable' and does not want to see him win reelection, Evanina said. China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of the November election in an effort to shape U.S policy and pressure political figures it sees as against Beijing, he said.
'Although China will continue to weigh the risks and benefits of aggressive action, its public rhetoric over the past few months has grown increasingly critical of the current administration´s COVID-19 response, closure of China´s Houston consulate and actions on other issues,' he wrote.
This Tuesday, April 28, 2020 file photo shows Jerome Fedor, left, voting using social distancing at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, in Cleveland, Ohio. Ohio's elections chief says his office plans to remove about 120,000 inactive Ohio voter registrations from state voter rolls after the November election. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
The State Department is offering $10 million for information on U.S. election hacking connected to a foreign government
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is demanding the release of more information on threats to U.S. elections
The Trump administration has warned of hacking threats by Russia and China
On Russia, U.S. intelligence officials assess that Russia is working to 'denigrate' Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia 'establishment' among his supporters, Evanina said. He said that would track Moscow´s criticism of Biden when he was vice president for his role in Ukraine policies and support of opposition to President Vladimir Putin inside Russia.
On Iran, the assessment said Tehran seeks to undermine U.S. democratic institutions as well as Trump and divide America before the election.
'Iran´s efforts along these lines probably will focus on on-line influence, such as spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-U.S. content,' Evanina wrote. 'Tehran´s motivation to conduct such activities is, in part, driven by a perception that President Trump´s re-election would result in a continuation of U.S. pressure on Iran in an effort to foment regime change.'
The State Department is offering a reward of up to $10 million for anyone providing information on foreign interference in the U.S. elections, as the administration provides warnings to Congress in private about the threat.
The agency's Rewards for Justice program, which offers a similar amount for information on the head of ISIS. It also is used to try to get information on terrorist attacks and bring terror leaders to justice. The payment was issued in a notice posted online.
'RFJ is offering up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of any person who, while acting at the direction of or under the control of a foreign government, interferes with any U.S. federal, state, or local elections,' according to a release by the program.
It cites a statute relating to computer fraud and abuse – indicating a particular interest is election hacking. The program is administered by State's Diplomatic Security Service.
'Persons engaged in certain malicious cyber operations targeting election or campaign infrastructure may be subject to prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030, which criminalizes unauthorized computer intrusions and other forms of fraud related to computers. Among other offenses, the statute prohibits unauthorized accessing of computers to obtain information and transmit it to unauthorized recipients,' it notes.
The posting comes days after the Trump administration provided a classified briefing to lawmakers about election interference threats. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe was among those who met with lawmakers.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) demanded the information be made public.
'Shocked & appalled—I just left a 90 minute classified briefing on foreign malign threats to our elections. From spying to sabotage, Americans need to see & hear these reports,' he wrote this week.
Without revealing what precisely he learned, Blumenthal added: 'Protect our democracy from destruction by declassifying key intel describing the danger of foreign subterfuge to our elections. Congress has been briefed, but sworn to secrecy—unacceptably.'