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US Elections 2020: Russia, Iran and China are making efforts to influence vote

Elections 2020
A voter casting his vote in primaries

According to a US intelligence report, Russia, Iran and China are among countries seeking to influence the United States Presidential Election this year. A statement issued by the director of US counterintelligence stated that foreign state actors are hatching up conspiracies that include covert and overt influence measures to sway the vote in their favor. The nations “have a preference for who wins the election,” the report added.

US Intelligence chiefs say that Russia colluded with Trump campaign in 2016 to bring him to the WH; Kremlin has denied the allegations. When asked at a press conference on Friday what he planned to do about the intelligence report on election interference, Trump responded that his administration would look “very closely” into it.

The announcement comes amid claims by Mr. Trump about the vulnerability of postal ballots or mail-in. Mr. President has suggested that the elections could be suspended to prevent “the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history”. The remarks prompted a backlash even from the members of GOP.

Democratic lawmakers have also complained that intelligence agencies are not making public the information about potential foreign interference in November’s vote. Donald Trump is vowing to extend his Presidential term for another four years by beating Democratic Challenger and former VP Joe Biden. In a statement released by William Evanina, head of the National counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) issued a statement on Friday which said that foreign countries are trying to sway voter preferences, change US policies, increased discord and “undermine the American people’s confidence in our democratic process”.

The office of the DNI however added that it would be “difficult for our adversaries to interfere with or manipulate voting results at scale.”

According to the report, many countries have their interests in the outcome of elections but the counterintelligence director said they key adversaries included China, Iran and Russia. Beijing’s preference is a White House without Mr. Trump whom it sees as unpredictable. Russia certainly looks to back Trump’s re-election and is putting efforts to denigrate Biden’s candidacy and his backers which mainly includes anti-Russian establishment squad. Mr. Evanina added that some other actors linked to Russia “are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television”.

Presidential Elections 2020
Race to White House

Iran meanwhile, seeks to undermine the democratic institutions in US, Republican president and tries to divide the country as it heads towards election. Iran mostly resorts to sponsoring disinformation and anti-US content online. Their efforts are driven by the fact that a second-term for Trump would be detrimental to their economy as he would not hesitate to increase US pressure on Iran in an effort to foment regime change.”

During Friday’s presser, Trump said Moscow may try to influence the election this year but dismissed the notion that it would be by helping him win the second term. “I think the last person Russian wants to see in office is Donald Trump,” he said, adding that “nobody’s ben tougher on Russian that I have, ever.”

He also said China would love if he lost the election, alleging that “they could own our own country” if Biden is crowned. The statement comes after the Democratic leadership voiced their concerns about the repeat of 2016 US Presidential Elections.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday demanded that the intelligence on the current efforts to hijack the election results should be made available to American public. In his statement Mr. Evanina said his agency “has and will continue to provide classified election threat briefings” to candidates and lawmakers.

“The steps we have taken thus far to inform the public and other stakeholders on election threats are unprecedented for the Intelligence Community.”