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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.

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases — Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Leon Black says he "made a terrible mistake" doing business with Jeffrey Epstein

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Rick Friedman/Corbis/Getty Images

Apollo Global Management CEO Leon Black on Thursday said during an earnings call that he made a "terrible mistake" by employing Jeffrey Epstein to work on personal financial and philanthropic services.

Why it matters: Apollo is one of the world's largest private equity firms, and already has lost at least one major client over Black's involvement with Epstein.

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