U.S. Investigating Potential Russian Campaign To Undermine Joe Biden
U.S. intelligence officials are looking into another potential election interference campaign by Russia, believing the country may be spreading disinformation about former Vice President Joe Biden.
One of Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s talents “is his ability to convince people of outright falsehoods,” William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, told Bloomberg.
Evina did not comment on the possible U.S. probe into a Biden disinformation campaign.
“In America, they’re using social media and many other tools to inflame social divisions, promote conspiracy theories and sow distrust in our democracy and elections,” Evanina said in a statement. “As we look ahead to 2020, one thing I can guarantee is they’ll keep up their influence campaigns and utilize new vectors of disinformation.”
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Part of the probe involves investigating whether Russia is trying to undermine Biden by circulating controversy and disinformation regarding his previous ties to Ukraine.
Biden unwittingly became entangled in President Donald Trump‘s impeachment, after he was charged with abuse of power for requesting Ukraine to open a political probe into Biden.
While Biden was Vice President, he instigated the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor. He withheld a U.S. bond until the prosecutor, who was widely viewed as corrupt, was fired.
However, his decision later came under fire by conservative critics who argued that Biden only pushed for the prosecutor’s removal because he had been investigating a natural gas company of which his son, Hunter Biden, sat on the board.
There is no evidence to suggest Biden was acting in the interest of his son, and the investigation had already been dropped by that point.
An investigation showed that Russia worked in 2016 to undermine Hillary Clinton‘s campaign, and was responsible for the Democratic National Committee hack. The probe did not find any collaboration between the country and Trump.
The fact that Biden’s past with Ukraine has circulated through mainstream media has made Russia’s job significantly easier, according to Clint Watts, a former FBI agent who has tracked Russia’s foreign influence campaigns.
“Biden is to 2020 what Clinton was to 2016,” Watts told Bloomberg. “The difference is that you have Trump in the White House who is also leading that charge and also trying to dig up dirt in Ukraine.”
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