Chip Somdevilla | Pool | Reuters
On Sunday, the Democratic chairman of the House of Representative Intelligence Committee accused US Attorney General William Barr of lying when he said that China posed a bigger threat to the November US election than Russia.
“This is a plain false statement by the Attorney General,” Adam Schiff told CNN. “Bill Barr only misled the American people in that statement.”
Barr, as attorney general last year by President Donald Trump, told CNN on Wednesday that China was more of a threat than Russia when it comes to alleged interference in US elections. He said, “I have shown intelligence. This is what I have concluded.”
Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O. Bryan, made similar remarks on Friday, without providing any details.
Asked if Barr was lying, Schiff said: “This is basically what he’s doing. And I hesitate to say that, but that’s the reality.”
“Apparently Bill Barr is willing to do anything or say anything to help Donald Trump.”
Barr’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump’s opponent in the November 3 election, former Vice President Joe Biden, said on Friday he did not agree that China was the biggest threat to the election and that such an assessment was not in line with the intelligence briefing he received.
Trump, who had a long-standing friendly relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as he tried to make good on the trade deal promises, made a significant part of his election campaign on China, while Biden called on Beijing Accused of being soft.
US intelligence found that Russia conducted a cyber campaign to campaign for the 2016 presidential election in favor of Trump, and there were reports that hackers could try to influence the November 3 election.
The top US counterclaim officer, William Ivanina, said last month that Russia, China and Iran would all try to interfere in the election.
He said that Russia was already going after Biden and sees it as anti-Russia, “while the Kremlin-linked actor” was trying to promote Trump’s candidacy through social media and Russian television. He said his agency assessed that China would prefer that Trump not win re-election.