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Previous story Intelligence report contradicts claims by Trump and his team on China election interference Next story

STORY BY ZACHARY COHEN AND JEREMY HERB, CNN

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Published on March 18, 2021 11:01 PM

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Intelligence report contradicts claims by Trump and his team on China election interference
Washington (CNN)The US intelligence report released Tuesday detailing foreign election interference in the 2020 election contradicts repeated statements from former President Donald Trump and senior members of his administration that China -- and not Russia -- was the top foreign threat to the integrity of the election.

The report also raises questions about the effort from Senate Republicans to investigate the Bidens and Ukraine, a probe that examined many of the same allegations about the Bidens and Ukraine that the Russian-linked officials were pushing, according to the intelligence community report.

The report, compiled by the US intelligence community and declassified and released by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines on Tuesday, assessed that the Russian government meddled in the 2020 election with an influence campaign "denigrating" President Joe Biden and "supporting" Trump. In addition, the report said China did not interfere and "considered but did not deploy influence efforts intended to change the outcome of the US Presidential election."

That assessment flies in the face of the public comments from Trump and members of his administration, including former Attorney General William Barr and former national security adviser Robert O'Brien who helped push Trump's narrative that China was interfering in the election more aggressively than Russia or Iran.

CNN previously reported that Trump decried any suggestion that Russia posed an equally dangerous threat as China as equivalent to the partisan "witch hunt" against him -- a view that was factored into the messaging of administration officials, who focused their public comments on Beijing and downplayed Moscow's actions.

A whistleblower also previously accused top Trump political appointees in the Department of Homeland Security of instructing career officials to "cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference in the US and instead start reporting on interference activities by China and Iran," according to the documents obtained by CNN.