US intelligence officials are closely monitoring for any possible influence campaigns from Russia or China aimed at amplifying existing political divisions or sparking unrest among Americans following the indictment of former President Donald Trump, according to two officials.
Limited Signs of Interference were Detected.
Officials have been on alert since the indictment was confirmed last week but have not yet seen significant signs of Russian or Chinese interference in the country’s political discourse beyond what has become standard, according to the officials.
One official said that after Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday, the intelligence community is watching “very closely” for any signs of interference, particularly from China or Russia, to stir up a response to Trump’s indictment and arraignment, such as protests.
Russia’s willingness and ability to interfere in the US political process, most notably in the 2016 presidential election, has caused greater concern about its possible disinformation campaigns, while China has increasingly sought to mirror those efforts, the officials said, as reported by NBC News.
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State-backed Actors’ Response to Trump’s Indictment
Recently, pro-Russia Twitter accounts posted false information aimed at stoking fears and political tensions after a large chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio.
While US officials have not detected any overt channels of disinformation campaigns from Russia or China on Trump’s indictment, Bret Schafer, who leads a team tracking information manipulation efforts at the German Marshall Fund, said state-backed actors, especially Russian proxies, are framing the event as evidence that American democracy and the rule of law are collapsing.
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