In an interview with PBS News host Judy Woodruff, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien warned that China was “trying to elect” Joe Biden, and that he believed that China has “the most sophisticated global influence programs” in the world.
“Final question, different subject, Ambassador O’Brien, and that has to do with the intelligence community report late last week that the Chinese and the Iranians are working in their own way to support Joe Biden in this presidential campaign,” Woodruff said. “But the Russians, who have a much more sophisticated interference campaign under way, are working again to support President Trump. So, my question is, what is the administration doing to counter the Russians?”
“Well, it’s not just countering the Russians. It’s countering any state or organization that wants to disrupt our elections,” O’Brien said. “Our — the free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy. They’re what make this country a great country. And we — we’re not going to tolerate any outside country, whether it’s China on behalf of Joe Biden — and, by the way, I dispute — the one thing I would dispute, I think the Chinese have the most sophisticated global influence programs and strategies and abilities and capabilities in the world.”
“But whether it’s the Chinese, who are trying to elect Joe Biden, or the Russians, who are denigrating Joe Biden, or the Iranians or the Venezuelans or Cubans or any other country, they have to stay out of our elections,” O’Brien continued. “We’ve hardened our election infrastructure. We’re working with our secretaries of state across all 50 states and the U.S. territories that will be voting for president. We’re putting unprecedented amounts of money in to make sure that they’re not vulnerable, our election systems aren’t vulnerable to cyberattack.”
“And so this is something we’re taking very seriously. We’re taking it very seriously in my shop at the NSC. President Trump is taking it very seriously,” O’Brien said. “And, look, there is zero place in an American election for foreign powers, whatever their — whatever they want to do or whatever they — however they want to influence this country. There’s no place for it.”