WASHINGTON – Joe Biden said Friday night that he's begun receiving intelligence briefings as he warned that Russia, China and other adversaries were attempting to undermine the upcoming U.S. election in November.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee wasn't specific and offered no evidence while addressing a virtual fundraiser with more than 200 attendees. But, in the process, he confirmed receiving classified briefings after saying as recently as late last month that he wasn't getting them but might request one about reports of Russian bounties being offered on U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
“We know from before, and I guarantee you I know now because now I get briefings again. The Russians are still engaged, trying to de-legitimize our electoral process. Fact,” Biden said Friday. "China and others are engaged as well in activities designed for us to lose confidence in the outcome.”
The White House and National Security Council didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on Biden's statement. Reached by phone, a Biden spokesperson did not immediately provide further details.
US intelligence agencies say Russia meddled in the 2016 election with the goal of swaying the contest toward Donald Trump, and officials have warned that there remains a threat of foreign interference in the 2020 contest.
Throughout his presidency, Trump has questioned the intelligence community’s findings about the 2016 Russian interference and called investigations into whether his campaign had any connection to the meddling a “hoax.”
Biden received intelligence briefings while vice president but told reporters he wasn't getting them as of June 30. He said then that President Donald Trump's administration had not offered classified briefings, even though they are traditionally provided to major-party nominees once they win the primary. Biden won't formally become the Democratic presidential nominee until the party's convention next month.
Biden has previously suggested that President Donald Trump could hold up emergency funding to help the Postal Service continue normal operations during the coronavirus, which has devastated the agency’s finances and contributed to a huge drop in mail volumes.