Trump Aide ‘Concerned’ Russia May Be Trying to Undermine Biden

Alan Levin

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government is “concerned” about a report that Russia may be attempting to undermine Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, President Donald Trump’s top national security official said Sunday.

Trump has warned his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, not to conduct any such election tampering, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“He’s absolutely told Putin to make sure that that doesn’t happen,” he said.

O’Brien was asked about a Bloomberg News report on Friday that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials are assessing whether Russia is trying to undermine Biden’s 2020 campaign with an ongoing disinformation operation.

“Look, I don’t want Russians, or Chinese, or Iranians or any others interfering with the Trump campaign, with the Biden campaign, with any campaign,” O’Brien said. “And I think the president feels absolutely the same way.”

The former vice president remains the front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, according to an average of opinion polls from RealClearPolitics.

O’Brien said the idea Trump would collude with Russia was “a partisan fantasy.” Various countries, including China, Iran and Russia would prefer “a more malleable leader” than Trump, he added.

Trump has bridled at findings that Russia mounted a massive effort to attack his 2016 Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, and by doing so boost his candidacy.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, speaking on the same show, said the administration isn’t doing enough to prevent meddling in this year’s campaign.

“The president of the United States is in complete denial about Russia’s role. As I have said in terms of this president, all roads lead to Putin,” Pelosi said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Levin in Washington at alevin24@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Virginia Van Natta

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