China expands ‘op influence’ in the United States
United States intelligence officers issued a public warning on Friday that China was “expanding its influence efforts” in the United States before the presidential election, along with Russia and IranBut informed Democrats on the matter said the threat was much more urgent than the administration described.
The warning came from William Evanina, director of the National Center for Counterintelligence and Security, in a statement 100 days before Americans went to the polls. “We are primarily concerned with China, Russia and Iran, although other nation-states and non-state actors could also harm our electoral process,” the statement said.
The warning about China came at a time of extraordinary tension between Beijing and Washingtonjust days after the United States charged two Chinese hackers on charges of theft of intellectual property, including for the country main intelligence serviceand evicted Chinese diplomats from their consulate in Houston.
Friday’s intelligence warning did not accuse the Chinese of trying to hack the vote; instead, he said they were using his influence “to shape the political environment in the United States” and to pressure politicians “who he sees as opposing China’s interests.”
Russia, according to the warning, continued to “spread disinformation in the US that is designed to undermine confidence in our democratic process,” and described Iran as an emerging actor in electoral interference, seeking to spread disinformation and “recirculate. anti-American content. ”
The statement was brief in details, recalling the vague warnings that the director of national intelligence appeared since October 2016 and that, in retrospect, it did not capture the attention of officials and voters before the last presidential election.
In a statement issued a few hours later, the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and two key Democrats on intelligence oversight committees joined in saying that the descriptions of the malignant activity were “so generic that they hardly make sense.”