In an interview with “This Week” Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz Bolton said that the United States is also concerned about significant election meddling from three other countries: China, North Korea and Iran.
“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,” Bolton told Raddatz.
Raddatz tried to get more information from Bolton and asked him, “But have you seen anything in the past specifically to China?”
Bolton responded by simply saying, “I’m not going to get into the – 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.”
On Saturday, President Trump had made the suggestion in a tweet that Mueller’s special counsel team should expand the scope their investigation into election meddling beyond Russia. He wrote: “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!”
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
Earlier in the month, on August 2nd, Bolton and several other top intelligence officials made a surprise appearance at a White House press briefing to discuss the steps they are taking on foreign election interference, including but not limited to Russia.
“Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristen Nielsen said at that time.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Bolton, DHS Secretary Nielsen and FBI Director Chris Wray each spoke in detail about how each of their agencies is working to combat the threat of outside election interference.
With Bolton’s latest comments it appears that the Trump administration is preparing the American people to expect interference in the 2018 midterm elections by hostile foreign nations. We have no way of knowing if what Bolton says is true. There may be other countries involved, or there may not be. It could just be a clever way for Trump and his people to deflect blame and attention from Russia and its president, Trump’s close friend Vladimir Putin.
Bolton’s comments do make clear, however, that concerns about foreign interference in our elections are very valid, and we are probably not doing enough to protection our election processes.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.