As President Donald Trump presides over the United Nations Security Council for the first time, he accuses China of interfering with the upcoming 2018 elections. He claims that the country is interfering because he “is the first president to challenge China on trade.”
President Trump Claims China Is Attempting to Interfere in 2018 Midterm Elections
LESTER HOLT, anchor:
Let’s turn now to the United Nations where the President today fired off a broadside against another world power with an accusation of election meddling. Not against Russia, but against China. NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell has the details.
ANDREA MITCHELL, reporting:
The dramatic accusation as President Trump was presiding over the U.N. Security Council for the first time.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election. They do not want me or us to win because I am the first President ever to challenge China on trade.
MITCHELL: Only three seats away, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi strongly denying the charge saying China does not interfere in other country's domestic affairs. What is the President's evidence? He tweeted photos of the Des Moines Register this week, articles critical of U.S. trade policy.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: It looks like they are editorials and they are not. They are made up by China.
MITCHELL: Although the pages are labeled as ads, still this warning from intelligence Chief Dan Coats Tuesday.
DAN COATS: The Chinese government uses all of the capabilities at their disposal to influence U.S. policies, spread propaganda, manipulate the media and pressure individuals.
MITCHELL: The timing of the President’s election meddling charge appears tied to his trade war with China with the U.S. slapping tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese exports this week. And China retaliating, accusing the U.S. of holding a knife to our neck.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’re taking in billions of dollars in tariff money going right into our treasury and China is getting hurt.
MITCHELL: As the world’s two largest economies slug it out over trade and the President opens a new front in the battle. Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, New York.