Trump camp: China, Iran want president to lose because he’s ‘held them accountable’
The Trump campaign responded to revelations that China and Iran are hoping he loses reelection in November, saying the president is facing resistance from the countries because he is working to hold them “accountable.”
The remarks came after intelligence officials revealed that while China and Iran want Trump to lose, Russia is working to “denigrate” presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
“The intelligence community’s assessment that both China and Iran are trying to stop President Trump’s re-election is concerning, but clearly because he has held them accountable after years of coddling by politicians like Joe Biden,” said Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s communications director.
The statement came after William Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said China, Russia and Iran are the three top foreign threats to the U.S. presidential race, warning that they are trying to “sway voters’ preferences and perspectives,” create conflict and “undermine the American people’s confidence in our democratic process.”
“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. We are primarily concerned about the ongoing and potential activity by China, Russia, and Iran,” Evanina said in a statement.
Evanina said officials had determined that China does not want Trump to win reelection because it considers him “unpredictable,” noting Beijing’s criticisms of his statements and actions toward Hong Kong, 5G cellular networks and the ongoing legal battle over the South China Sea.
He also said Iran is trying to “undermine” U.S. democratic institutions and Trump.
However, Evanina also said that officials had determined that Russia is trying to “denigrate” former Vice President Joe Biden, noting the Obama administration’s policies on Ukraine and its support for opponents to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Murtaugh defended Trump’s actions on Russia, casting him as tougher on Moscow than any past president.
“The Trump Administration has been tougher on Russia than any administration in history, imposing sanctions and expelling diplomats, in contrast with the Obama-Biden administration, which choked in the face of Russian interference after Susan Rice gave the ‘stand down’ order and let Russia get away with it,” he said, referring to the Obama administration’s response to intelligence it was interfering in the 2016 race.
Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, is now a candidate to be Biden’s running mate.
Trump and his campaign have been highly sensitive to news over election meddling as the president faces lingering accusations from Democrats that he benefited from Moscow’s attempt to meddle in 2016 to try to hurt Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
“We don’t need or want foreign interference, and President Trump will beat Joe Biden fair and square,” said Murtaugh.