White House national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday in an interview that the 2018 U.S. elections were facing a threat not just from Russia, but from China, North Korea, and Iran as well. (Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images)
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President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton said that there is a serious threat that not only Russia, but also China, North Korea and Iran could try to meddle in the 2018 U.S. elections.
During an interview Sunday on ABC's “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” Bolton told Martha Raddatz that the administration was taking the threat from Russian cyberattacks very seriously:
It's not simply a question of speaking with the Russians. At the president's direction we had a press conference in the White House Briefing Room, a couple weeks ago now, with myself and four of the heads of the operating agencies and departments that deal with this, to lay out, at least as much as we could in a non-classified environment, what we were doing. And there are a lot of things we're doing that we can't talk about specifically. And that includes both defensive and offensive cyber operations to protect the integrity of the election process.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted that “All of the fools that are so focused on looking only at Russia should start also looking in another direction, China.”
All of the fools that are so focused on looking only at Russia should start also looking in another direction, China. But in the end, if we are smart, tough and well prepared, we will get along with everyone!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2018
Raddatz referenced this tweet, and asked Bolton if he thought that China had ever meddled in U.S. elections.
Bolton replied, “Well, I can say definitively that it's a sufficient national security concern about Chinese meddling, Iranian meddling, and North Korean meddling that we're taking steps to try to prevent it. So it's all four of those countries, really.”
Raddatz asked Bolton if he had seen anything specifically related to China trying to meddle in U.S. elections in the past, but Bolton said he couldn't answer.
"Well, I'm not gonna get into what I've seen or haven't seen, but I'm telling you, looking at the 2018 election, those are the four countries that we're most concerned about,” he said.
Bolton said that the U.S. was using “the full range of capabilities” to protect U.S. elections, the U.S. government, and the private sector from foreign cyberattacks.
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