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Russia must stay out of US election, says National security advisor

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said Tuesday the United States will not tolerate any election interference from foreign countries

US Presidential elections 2020 | Russia | Donald Trump

AP  |  Salt Lake City 

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said Tuesday the United States will not tolerate any election interference from foreign countries.

O'Brien said he told his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, to stay out of the November election and that there would be severe consequences for any country that violates that directive.

O'Brien spoke to reporters after delivering remarks at a national security summit in Salt Lake City.

The Russians said that they had no plans to do anything of that nature, O'Brien said.

O'Brien said was hit with sanctions following its interference in the 2016 election that he hopes will be a deterrent to other countries. However, there has already been evidence of interference by Russia, China and Iran, O'Brien said, as well as other countries that he declined to name.

Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of a democracy, and we're not gonna tolerate any foreign adversary or foreign government getting involved, he said about his meeting with Patrushev Friday in Geneva.

I think they understood that message, and hopefully they'll stay out of it.

Senior Trump administration officials have been eager to focus more on China in discussing election interference, asserting that Beijing is the more potent danger.

Career intelligence officials say China is a major espionage concern, but there is bipartisan consensus, including in a Republican-led Senate intelligence committee report, that directly interfered in 2016 as it tried to help President defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

This year, intelligence officials say, is working to denigrate Democratic nominee

Microsoft released a report last month that found the same Russian military intelligence outfit that hacked the Democrats in 2016 has attempted similar intrusions into the computer systems of more than 200 organizations, including political parties and consultants.

Most of the infiltration attempts by Russian, Chinese and Iranian agents were halted by Microsoft security software, and the targets were notified.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, October 07 2020. 06:56 IST