National security adviser Robert O’Brien on Friday said he agrees with the assessment from Attorney General William Barr and others that China is more aggressive in its efforts to meddle in the election in November.
“Yes I agree with him, 100%,” he said at a White House press briefing.
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Barr was asked on CNN which country was more assertive and aggressive in election meddling.
“I believe it’s China,” Barr said. “Because I’ve seen the intelligence, that’s what I’ve concluded.”
Last month, the intelligence community warned that a variety of countries are seeking to influence policy and elections — with Iran seeking to undermine President Trump and Russia working to denigrate Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Officials also said China “prefers” that Trump does not win in November.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told Fox News last month that China poses “a greater national security threat economically, militarily and technologically to the United States than any other nation.
“That includes threats of election influence and interference,” Ratcliffe had said.
Democrats on Saturday, however, accused the Trump administration of a “false narrative of equivalence.”
“The aims and actions of Russia, China and Iran are not the same,” a statement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said. “Only one country — Russia — is actively undertaking a range of measures to undermine the presidential election and to secure the outcome that the Kremlin sees as best serving its interests.”
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The back-and-forth comes amid continued concerns about foreign interference after Russian interference in the 2016 election.
On Friday, O’Brien said that it was difficult to assess what impact foreign adversaries were having.
“It’s hard to know what impact they can have or how they are spreading things, I know some of our tech companies are doing a good job … whether its Facebook, Twitter or others, in trying to police things in a way they didn’t before,” he said.
The U.S. intelligence community is doing a good job in trying to track interference, he said.
“The Department of Homeland Security, with increased funding from this administration, is doing a good job of hardening our infrastructure to make sure that, whether its cyber infrastructure or physical infrastructure, to make sure we’re not susceptible to having the choice the American people make on Election Day changed by some foreign party,” he said.
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He added that while there will always be efforts to influence, “we know that the Chinese have taken the most active role but the Russians and the Iranians and other countries are involved as well.”
But he warned that elections are the foundation of America’s democracy and that “we’re just not going to tolerate these other countries trying to get involved in our election.”
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.