Joe Biden’s statement comes hours after Democratic leaders issued an alert that Congress appears to be the target of a foreign interference campaign.
In asserting his lack of tolerance on foreign interference, Joe Biden said he would treat such incidents as an “an adversarial act that significantly affects the relationship between the United States and the interfering nation’s government.”
He took a swipe at US President Donald Trump for inadequately responding to US intelligence agencies’ findings over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US elections.
“If any foreign power recklessly chooses to interfere in our democracy, I will not hesitate to respond as president to impose substantial and lasting costs,” Biden said.
The new alarms give a renewed urgency to concerns that foreign actors could be trying to influence the vote or sow disinformation.
Biden said last week that he had begun receiving intelligence briefings and warned that Russia, China and other adversaries were attempting to undermine the presidential election.
Biden gave no evidence, but he said that Russia was “still engaged” after 2016 and that China was also involved in efforts to sow doubts in the American electoral process.
During an online fundraiser Monday night, Biden added: “It’s going to be tough, there’s not much I can do about it now except talk about it, and expose it, but it is a serious concern. It is truly a violation of our sovereignty.”
And in an interview on MSNBC, Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin “knows I mean what I say.”
The Democratic leaders said in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Monday that they are concerned that Congress appears to be the target of a “concerted foreign interference campaign” to influence the 2020 presidential election.
They asked Wray for an all-members, classified briefing on the matter before the August recess.