Dems want briefing on Trump claims of Chinese election meddling

Dems want briefing on Trump claims of Chinese election meddling
© Greg Nash

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have requested an intelligence briefing on President TrumpDonald John TrumpAmash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' McConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Trump blasts 'corrupt' Puerto Rico's leaders amid political crisis MORE’s accusations that China has tried to interfere in the midterm elections. 

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHouse passes annual intelligence bill Judge finds Stone violated gag order, blocks him from using social media The peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff MORE (D-Calif.), the committee’s ranking member, told The Hill Thursday that the minority has requested a briefing before the House’s next recess on Trump's claims.

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“We have requested to be briefed on what he was referring to,” Schiff said. “We expect that we will, before we recess, have the opportunity to ask just what he is talking about.”

On Wednesday, Trump accused China of trying to meddle in the elections during a speech at a United Nations Security Council meeting in New York.

“Regrettably, we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election,” Trump said. “They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade.”

At a later press conference, Trump pointed to an insert in the Des Moines Register purchased by a Chinese government-backed media company that criticized Trump’s trade policies. He described the alleged Chinese interference as “different” than Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 vote.

A senior administration official separately told reporters that China has threatened to use tariffs to hurt farmers in districts that voted for Trump, in addition to taking other covert steps to “actively interfere” in the U.S. political system. The official provided few further details. 

A Democratic Intelligence Committee aide told The Hill that the minority has requested a briefing from the intelligence community concerning “the basis” of the president’s comments. An aide to Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesHouse passes annual intelligence bill Democrats' opposition research got exposed — this time, not by the Russians GOP consultant sued by Nunes asks for help paying legal costs MORE (R-Calif.) did not return a request for comment.

House lawmakers are expected to leave town on Friday and recess until the midterm elections, though nothing has been officially announced.