Trump says China is interfering in midterm elections

President Donald Trump claimed on ...

Posted: Sep 26, 2018 10:10 PM
Updated: Sep 26, 2018 10:10 PM

President Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday that China is working to interfere in November's midterm elections with the aim of damaging him politically.

"Regrettably, we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election coming up in November against my administration," Trump said during remarks at the UN Security Council.

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The President offered scant details or evidence, which came during a session meant to focus on issues of nonproliferation. He suggested the meddling attempts came as retribution for the budding trade war he has waged with Beijing.

"They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade," Trump said. "We are winning on trade. We are winning at every level. We don't want them to meddle or interfere in our upcoming election."

Speaking after Trump, China's representative on the Security Council denied attempts to interfere in US elections.

"China has all along followed the principle of non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs. This is a tradition of Chinese foreign policy," said Wang Yi, China's State Councilor and Minister for Foreign Affairs. "We do not and will not interfere in any countries' domestic affairs. We refuse to accept any unwarranted accusations against China, and we call upon other countries to also observe the purposes of the UN charter and not to interfere in other countries' internal affairs."

A senior administration official on Wednesday sought to flesh out Trump's allegation earlier Wednesday that China "has been attempting to interfere" in the 2018 midterm elections, but offered no concrete evidence to back up the President's claim. None of the activities the official described rose to the level of Russia's coordinated campaign to influence voters in 2016 in support of Trump's candidacy.

Instead, the official lumped in longstanding practices of the Chinese government and reiterated the administration's belief that Chinese tariffs targeting regions in the US that supported the President in 2016 amount to election interference

The official described a "whole of government approach using political, economic, commercial and informational tools to benefit the interests of the Chinese Communist Party" and insisted that these activities "go way beyond how normal countries interact with one another."

"The activities have reached an unacceptable level," the official said on an official White House briefing call set up on condition of anonymity.

A new round of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods went into effect this week at Trump's order. The move escalated a standoff between the US and China, and Trump has held out the possibility of slapping additional tariffs should Beijing retaliate.

US intelligence officials have stated previously that nations like China or Iran may work to interfere in the midterm elections using a playbook established by Russia during the 2016 presidential contest.

Throughout his time in office, Trump has repeatedly downplayed Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election, which US intelligence assessments say was meant to benefit him.

He did not mention Russian interference attempts during his remarks on Wednesday and the activities described by the senior administration official several hours later did not rise to the level of Russia's actions in 2016.

The official listed other longstanding Chinese government activities without making specific connections to the midterm elections or explaining how such actions amount to election interference: "China punishes or rewards businessmen, think tanks, movie studios, journalists, religious leaders and even political candidates depending on whether they criticize or support china's policies."

The official said the administration is "in the process of declassifying more information" and said Vice President Mike Pence will outline the Chinese effort in a speech next week at the Hudson Institute.

The official insisted that the actions amount to election interference because "some of these activities are actually covert."

Later, departing UN headquarters, Trump insisted there is ample evidence of China's enmity toward him.

"Plenty of evidence they would like to see me not win," Trump said when questioned about his earlier claim Beijing is working to interfere in November midterm contests.

"First time ever they've been confronted on trade," Trump said. "They can't get involved."

Earlier this month, US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that election meddling attempts haven't yet reached the scale of the 2016 interference efforts. But he said US agencies were actively monitoring the situation ahead of the vote.

Republicans are working to retain control of the House and Senate, through face daunting prospects with an unpopular president.

Trump has suggested previously that China would work to damage Republicans in November.

"China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me," he tweeted last week. What China does not understand is that these people are great patriots and fully understand that China has been taking advantage of the United States on Trade for many years."

Trump has vowed to add tariffs on an additional $267 billion in Chinese goods if Beijing takes steps that negatively impact agricultural or industrial workers.

This story has been updated.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 6783
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19731230
Hinds18881393
Harrison16780282
Rankin12787265
Jackson12643229
Lee9703161
Madison9484203
Jones8005147
Forrest7250138
Lauderdale6847227
Lowndes6033140
Lamar590980
Lafayette5747113
Washington5229130
Bolivar4620124
Oktibbeha442194
Panola432396
Pearl River4193132
Warren4138115
Pontotoc410771
Marshall404492
Monroe3993128
Union396474
Neshoba3822170
Lincoln3564104
Hancock350277
Leflore3389119
Sunflower319286
Tate303374
Pike301796
Scott295271
Alcorn292463
Yazoo290865
Itawamba290275
Coahoma282069
Tippah279565
Copiah279259
Simpson276680
Prentiss271158
Wayne254541
Leake253172
Marion252778
Covington249780
Grenada248578
Adams235078
George232445
Newton231252
Winston221979
Jasper213845
Tishomingo212965
Attala206870
Chickasaw201453
Holmes182770
Clay179251
Stone173029
Tallahatchie171439
Clarke169672
Calhoun158528
Smith153033
Yalobusha145536
Greene127933
Walthall124540
Noxubee123131
Montgomery122939
Perry122235
Lawrence120621
Carroll119025
Amite112235
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102731
Tunica99523
Claiborne99129
Benton93924
Humphreys93027
Kemper90423
Quitman77414
Franklin76219
Choctaw69817
Jefferson62827
Wilkinson62427
Sharkey49117
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 498076

Reported Deaths: 10094
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson716711387
Mobile36294737
Madison32616468
Tuscaloosa24340421
Montgomery22739519
Shelby22174218
Baldwin19873289
Lee15039157
Calhoun13832293
Morgan13753254
Etowah13390325
Marshall11448211
Houston10124264
Elmore9483190
Limestone9420138
St. Clair9022227
Cullman8984182
Lauderdale8612214
DeKalb8489175
Talladega7606165
Walker6585259
Jackson6545104
Autauga632492
Blount6236127
Colbert6001121
Coffee5264103
Dale4671107
Russell406933
Franklin399878
Covington3993106
Chilton3898103
Escambia379173
Tallapoosa3622143
Clarke344053
Chambers3431111
Dallas3422142
Pike293373
Marion288695
Lawrence284985
Winston258368
Bibb246160
Geneva240370
Marengo238857
Pickens225457
Barbour213651
Hale212269
Fayette202057
Butler201466
Henry183541
Cherokee178039
Monroe166739
Randolph164840
Washington156836
Macon147745
Crenshaw146255
Clay145954
Cleburne139841
Lamar133733
Lowndes132751
Wilcox122925
Bullock117336
Conecuh107024
Perry106127
Sumter99732
Coosa90224
Greene88532
Choctaw55323
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