by Jerry Dunleavy
A new report from the office of the Director of National Intelligence reveals officials downplayed Chinese Communist Party interference in the 2020 election “to avoid supporting Trump policies” since many “disagreed” with the administration’s approach to China.
The revelation comes from a 14-page report obtained by the Washington Examiner authored by Barry Zulauf, the Chief of the Solutions Division in the office of the Director of National Intelligence. Sent to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, the report reveals the agency’s assessment on foreign influence in the 2020 election was conducted in a “polarized” atmosphere and completed by officials who “disagreed” with the Trump administration’s approach to China.
“Given analytic differences in the way Russia and China analysts examined their targets, China analysts appeared hesitant to assess Chinese actions as undue influence or interference. The analysts appeared reluctant to have their analysis on China brought forward because they tend to disagree with the administration’s policies, saying in effect, I don’t want our intelligence used to support those policies,” Zulauf described.
The Director of National Intelligence – John Ratcliffe – also penned a letter echoing Zulauf’s sentiment.
“From my unique vantage point as the individual who consumes all of the U.S. government’s most sensitive intelligence on the People’s Republic of China, I do not believe the majority view expressed by the Intelligence Community analysts fully and accurately reflects the scope of the Chinese government’s efforts to influence the 2020 U.S. federal elections,” he explained.
Ratcliffe continued, noting the “concerning revelations about the politicization of China election influence reporting and of undue pressure being brought to bear on analysts who offered an alternative view based on the intelligence” found in Zulauf’s report.