Biden on foreign election meddling: ‘All the bad guys are rooting for Trump’

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President Biden said in a new interview that there is evidence China is meddling in the upcoming U.S. election, quipping that “all the bad guys” are rooting for former President Trump in November’s race.

“There is evidence that meddling is going on,” Biden told Time Magazine in an interview published Tuesday, declining to go into greater detail.

When a reporter interjected to say it sounded as if China was meddling, Biden said China “would have an interest in meddling.”

“Everybody, all the bad guys are rooting for Trump, man. Not a joke,” he added.

Biden earlier in the interview, conducted May 28, recounted how foreign leaders frequently tell him that it’s important he win reelection to protect democracy in the U.S. and abroad.

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The president’s comments come after Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in April, following a three-day trip to China, that there were signs Beijing was attempting to influence and potentially interfere in the upcoming U.S. election.

CNN reported that Biden warned Chinese President Xi Jinping during a November meeting in San Francisco not to interfere in the 2024 elections.

Taiwanese groups earlier this year outlined a major disinformation campaign employed by Chinese actors during the island nation’s national elections, which concluded in January and delivered a blow to Beijing with the victory of a pro-U.S. candidate.  

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The alleged tactics from Chinese actors involved using generative artificial intelligence (AI) to manipulate videos and sow discord in Taiwan, including by completely distorting the words of at least one U.S. member of Congress, raising concerns about the risks in the U.S. election.

Foreign efforts to influence U.S. elections would not be new. Federal officials concluded Russia interfered in the 2016 election between Trump and then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

The National Intelligence Council released a report in March 2021 that found Russia and Iran carried out efforts to influence the 2020 presidential election. Russia, the report stated, sought to denigrate Biden’s candidacy, while Iran sought to sow division and undercut Trump’s prospects.

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The same report found China “considered but did not deploy” influence efforts in the 2020 election.

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