Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

U.S. economic and national security is threatened by China's strategic plan for dominance in multiple areas, FBI Director Christopher Wray said in an interview Friday with Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Why it matters: These so-called "generational threats" will shape the future of the U.S., Wray warns.

"They’re going to determine where we stand and what we look like ten years from now, twenty years from now, fifty years from now."
— Christopher Wray tells Richard Haass

The "multilayered threat" from China, Wray says, entails a merging of cybercrime and espionage. China is "stealing innovation" via businesses, universities and organizations, he says.

  • The FBI's economic espionage investigations "almost invariably lead back to China" in most of the 56 field offices and span most industries or sectors.
  • "Put plainly, China seems determined to steal its way up the economic ladder at our expense."

Plus, the increasing dependence of the U.S. on technology makes the country more vulnerable, he adds.

  • "[O]ur ever-expanding use of technology: next-generation telecommunications networks like 5G, the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, cryptocurrencies, unmanned aerial system[s], deep fakes ... I see blinking red right in front of me and right in front of all of us. And we grow more vulnerable in many ways every day."

The bottom line: There needs to be a public-private partnership to share information and resources to prevent these threats, Wray says.

Go deeper

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 12,813,864 — Total deaths: 566,790 — Total recoveries — 7,046,535Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 3,286,025 — Total deaths: 135,089 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — Miami-Dade mayor says "it won't be long" until county's hospitals reach capacity.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.