Robert O’Brien, White House national security adviser, has warned that any foreign power that attempts to meddle in the U.S forthcoming November election risks dare consequences that would follow such attempt.
O’Brien announced this in an interview with Face-the-Nation on Sunday August 9, 2020, following the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of foreign actors’ influence as the U.S election draws near.
The assessment issued on Friday detailed candidate choice of some foreign actors.
While warning countries of consequences of interference in the election, O’Brien said, “Whether it’s China, Russia or Iran, we’re not going to put up with it, and there will be severe consequences with any country that attempts to interfere with our free and fair election.”
“Whether their leaders prefer Joe Biden or prefer Donald Trump, it doesn’t matter.
“We’re Americans. We’re not going to have foreign countries deciding who our next president is going to be. That’s outrageous,” added O’Brien.
The security adviser mentioned that some countries like Russia, China and Iran have once attempted phishing and cyberattacks on the country.
He added that some have attempted to illegally gain access date on Americans via the website of the secretary of state.
O’Brien however mentioned that certain counter measures are being put in place by the U.S government to prevent foreign influence in the 2020 November election.
He stated government would implement stiff election and cyber infrastructure to avoid foreign influence in the election.
“There’s no higher concern that we have than maintaining the free and fair elections that are the cornerstone of our democracy,” he said.
“And look, we know that there are people overseas, the Chinese, the Iranians, the Russians, others who would like to interfere with our democracy. And we’re going to fight against that,” he added.
While further warning the foreign actors, O’Brien clearly said, “Don’t get involved in our elections. Don’t do it because there will be severe consequences.”
The intelligence community in its assessment has earlier warned that Russia and China might each work against either of the presidential candidates for a reason peculiar to them.
The assessment stated that Russia could work against Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, while China would wish President Trump loses his reelection bid.
It was also said that Iran might be walking towards undermining the U.S. democratic institutions and the president via online and social media content.
Speaking specifically on Russia, the security adviser said that several sanctions have already been imposed on the country.
“We’ve sanctioned the heck out of the Russians — individuals, companies, the government.
“We’ve kicked out literally scores of Russian spies. We’ve closed down all their consulates on the West Coast.
“We closed down diplomatic facilities. There’s not a lot left we can do with the Russians,” he said.