On Wednesday, while presiding over the U.N. Security Council, President Donald Trump accused China of interfering with the upcoming American midterm elections and of undermining his administration. According to the president, China’s covert attempt at manipulating American voters is the result of his tough stance on trade between the two nations.
“Regrettably, we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election, coming up in November, against my administration,” President Trump said. “They do not want me, or us, to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade.”
It wasn’t long before people began asking the Trump administration for evidence to support the president’s claims. Some officials responded early with objectively accurate information about China’s foreign and domestic propaganda enterprises but offered little in the way of specifics.
“Some of these activities are actually covert,” one senior official told the press pool. “It employs cyber, it employs in some cases corruption, and it employs propaganda and things that appear to be more normal modes of interacting and spreading information.”