President Trump’s national security adviser said Sunday that he warned his Russian counterparts last week that “there would be absolutely no tolerance for interference in the November elections,” but failed to mention that American intelligence officials and a number of private companies had said so They already saw evidence of operations with Russian influence.
The advisor, Robert C. O’Brien, said on CBS’s Face the Nation that he gave the warning during a meeting in Geneva on Friday with Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council. Mr O’Brien did not make known what was discussed, but the meeting is taking place as the government has exceeded a deadline for renewing the START new nuclear arms control treaty and is under pressure following the poisoning of Aleksei against Moscow proceed to Navalny, the Russian opposition leader.
“One of the reasons why I met with General Patrushev is to let him know that there is absolutely no tolerance for interference in our election day, in our vote, in the voting results, and to demand that Russia not interfere something like that, ”he said without mentioning how Russia had interfered with an elaborate disinformation campaign.
“The Russians have committed to it,” he said. “And so, look, it’s Russia. As President Reagan said, and as President Trump often says, it’s trust, but check it out. “
American intelligence agencies have already determined that the Russians will be active in the 2020 elections. Christopher A. Wray, the FBI director, told Congress in September: “The consensus among intelligence agencies is that Russia continues to seek to influence our elections.” Microsoft has provided evidence similar to that of Facebook and other social media companies.
Mr Trump has never dealt directly with Russia’s turnout in the 2020 elections, as he accepted President Vladimir V. Putin’s rejection of Russia hacking Democratic National Committee servers and dropping emails in 2016. The Justice Department has indicted a dozen GRU officials, a Russian military intelligence agency, and the Treasury Department continued to sanction Russians for involvement in electoral disruption.
In the past few weeks, Russia-backed hackers have intensified Mr Trump’s allegations that postal ballot papers will lead to widespread fraud.