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Former Vice President Joe Biden at an event in Wilmington, DE. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden said in a lengthy statement Monday that he will consider any foreign election interference "an assault on the American people" that would result in sanctions and significantly impact the relationship between the U.S. and the interfering government.

Why it matters: Biden is the latest in a growing chorus of Democrats and intelligence officials who — with 105 days until the election — are sounding the alarm over potential disruptions similar to what the U.S. saw in the late stages of the 2016 race.

Driving the news: Earlier Monday, top Democrats in the House and Senate asked the FBI for a briefing on a "concerted foreign interference campaign" that aims "to influence congressional activity, public debate, and the presidential election in November."

  • U.S. intelligence officials have said that Russia, China and other foreign adversaries are actively trying to interfere in the 2020 elections.
  • During a virtual fundraiser last week, Biden — who is receiving regular intelligence briefings — said that Russia is "still engaged in trying to delegitimize our electoral process. Fact.”
  • He added: “China and others are engaged as well in activities that are designed for us to lose confidence in the outcome.”

Details: Biden said in his Monday statement that if elected president, he will treat any foreign interference as an "adversarial act" and "leverage all appropriate instruments of national power" to impose "substantial and lasting costs on state perpetrators."

  • Those costs could include "financial-sector sanctions, asset freezes, cyber responses, and the exposure of corruption," Biden said.
  • He added that he'll ensure that the U.S. intelligence community publishes a public and timely report on their findings relevant to any foreign interference.
  • Biden also said he'll direct agencies from across the government "to develop plans for disrupting foreign threats to our elections process ... so that we are isolating the regimes that seek to undermine democracies and civil liberties."

What they're saying: "[T]oday, I am putting the Kremlin and other foreign governments on notice," Biden said in the statement.

  • "I have no desire to escalate tensions with Russia or any other country. ... But 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."

Go deeper

Oct 26, 2020 - World

China to sanction Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon over Taiwan arms sales

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen during a visit to Penghu Air Force Base. Photo: Sam Yeh/AFP via Getty Images

China plans to impose unspecified sanctions on Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and other U.S. companies involved in weapons sales to Taiwan, Reuters reports, citing a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

Why it matters: The Trump administration last week notified Congress of an additional $1.8 billion in proposed arms sales to Taiwan. China's recent military exercises and the buildup of forces along its southeastern coast have renewed fears of an invasion of Taiwan, which Beijing views as a breakaway province that must be brought under its control.

Biden to sign executive orders focused on women's rights

President Biden. Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Biden will sign executive orders Monday establishing a Gender Policy Council and directing the Department of Education to review the federal law Title IX, according to administration officials.

Why it matters: The Biden administration is signaling its priorities to advance gender equity and equality as women, particularly women of color, have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

3 hours ago - World

Report: U.S. calls for UN-led Afghan peace talks

Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington, D.C., in February. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a letter outlining a plan to accelerate peace talks with the Taliban that the U.S. is "considering" a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Afghan outlet TOLOnews first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: In the letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, also obtained by Western news outlets, Blinken expresses concern that the Taliban "could make rapid territorial gain" after an American military withdrawal, even with the continuation of U.S. financial aid, as he urges him to embrace his proposal.

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