The Chinese Communist Party interfered in the 2022 midterm elections through various means, according to a declassified intelligence report and multiple private-sector investigations.
The effort included CCP-coordinated retaliation against U.S. lawmakers, the promotion of divisive content, and the impersonation of American voters online.
Proxies for the regime sought “to punish [candidates] for their anti-China views” and to reward [them] for their perceived support of Beijing, according to a declassified report by the Director for National Intelligence.
The regime also demonstrated a “greater willingness to conduct election influence activities than in past cycles,” at least in part because it did not fear retaliation from the Biden administration.
CCP operations also sought to sow discord among American voters by covertly using social media accounts, proxy websites, and paid influencers and public relations firms to manipulate U.S. public opinion about China.
The findings are in line with reports published late last year by Meta and Microsoft, which found that Chinese law enforcement was engaged in the world’s largest online influence operation.
Meta said that it purged more than 7,700 Facebook accounts, 900 pages, 15 groups, and a smattering of Instagram accounts that were linked to the operation that spread pro-Chinese communist and anti-U.S. propaganda.
The “covert influence operation” was active on more than 50 platforms, including Medium, Pinterest, Quora, Reddit, TikTok, Vimeo, X (formerly known as Twitter), and YouTube.
China-based actors also impersonated American voters online, the Microsoft report found, and used artificial intelligence to create and promote divisive content during the midterms.
As with the regime’s interference in Congressional races, the campaign appears to have targeted people of all political backgrounds in an attempt to undermine confidence in the United States and promote the CCP’s goals.
“These accounts posed as Americans across the political spectrum and responded to comments from authentic users.”
GOP SPLIT OVER RESPONSE TO DRONE STRIKE
Congressional Republicans are divided on the proper response to the attack in Jordan that left three American service members dead.
On Jan. 27, a drone strike on a U.S. base in Jordan ended in three U.S. Army soldiers’ deaths and injury to more than 30 others. The drone strike is believed to have come from a group based in Syria and backed by Iran, the latest in a string of attacks by proxies of the Islamic state.
Afterward, many lawmakers were quick to call for the United States to exact vengeance—not against the proxies, but against the Iranians themselves.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) called for the United States to “target Tehran,” Iran’s capital.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) made the same demand: “Hit Iran now. Hit them hard.”
That same demand was echoed by other GOP representatives in the Senate as well.
But other Republicans, particularly in the House, aren’t buying it.
Speaking on these and other calls for war, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) told The Epoch Times, “They went absolutely insane. Like basically wanting to start World War III. I very much believe in peace through strength.”
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) indicated that he thinks the United States should focus its efforts on the proxies.
“Some of these proxy groups that are operating under the protection of the Iranian regime, they should be obliterated as far as I’m concerned,“ Donalds said. ”If you have an American soldier lose their life, let alone three, let alone 10 ... these proxy groups launching missiles at our servicemen and women ... need to be eliminated. “
Some Democrats also weighed in.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) shared his Republican colleagues’ concerns on this issue.
“I’m really concerned by some of the hardline rhetoric coming out to some of my colleagues about ‘let’s engage in a full-blown war with Iran,” he told reporters.
“Look, I think Iran is a bad player,“ McGovern added. ”And I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be a consequence here. But I mean, this casual talk of all-out war, it’s chilling.”
Many also said a retaliatory strike directly on Iran would demand Congressional authorization.
“Without question, any president—Republican or Democrat—that wants to take us to war or commit significant acts of war has to come to Congress,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on X.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) agreed.
“The Biden administration and Warhawks cannot unilaterally authorize military action against Iran,” Biggs told The Epoch Times. “The Constitution clearly grants Congress the sole power to declare war and authorize military action. We should not put our service members in harm’s way and spend taxpayer money without strategic discussions.”
The same demand for Congressional authorization was echoed by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), and several others.
FAITH vs. CCP
For the Chinese Communist Party, the ultimate enemy is not capitalism or democracy. It is faith in God.
That’s according to Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.).
At the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, he compared faith and communism side by side.
“Communism seeks domination. What does faith seek? Faith seeks love,” he said.
“Communism seeks the obliteration of the individual on the altar of the collective, faith seeks the dignity of the individual, the respect due to each and every one of us as a child of God.
Faith seeks the elevation of man’s soul, what communism seeks is abasement.”
By eliminating the “belief in anything greater,” The CCP aims to “reduce men and women to flesh and bones, simple tools to use to build party objectives.”
Mass arrests and detention, surveillance, labor camps for believers such as Falun Gong practitioners and Uyghurs, and destruction of churches. But no matter what, Gallagher thinks victory is not on its side.
“Because you cannot—no matter how hard you try, no matter how much power you have at your disposal, you simply cannot kill the truth.”
- President Joe Biden travels to Delaware to observe the dignified transfer of the remains of the three American soldiers killed in a drone attack in Jordan.
- Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis faces a deadline to respond to a motion from Michael Roman, a former staffer for and co-defendant with former President Donald Trump, seeking to dismiss Willis from the case and drop the indictment due to a conflict of interest stemming from an alleged extramarital affair between Willis and a top prosecutor on her team.
- The Department of Labor releases the January jobs report.
After his removal from the speakership, former Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) doesn’t seem inclined to forgive and forget. According to an article by Politico, the Bakersfield Republican has been carrying out a “vengeance operation” against the eight Republicans who cost him his gavel, seeking to field primary challengers.
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has finally got her one-on-one contest with Trump. But as far as polling and results from early primaries show, her bid to defeat Trump is failing. In an article exploring her lackluster showing, Politico posited that this is because Haley represents a different, pre-Trump GOP—a GOP that’s effectively dead.
The United States plans to carry out attacks on Iranian personnel and facilities in Iraq and Syria, CBS News reported. The strikes will be retribution for a Jan. 27 drone strike on a U.S. base in Jordan that left three American soldiers dead and dozens injured.
Ten State Senate Republicans in Oregon won’t be eligible for reelection, Oregon’s secretary of state announced. The Epoch Times’ Zachary Stieber reported on the decision, which comes after the senators missed more than 10 legislative sessions without an excuse.
A carjacking ended in the death of a Las Vegas father and husband. Now, seven children of the victim are without a father, and his wife has been left to fend for each of them on her own. The Epoch Times’ Allan Stein reported on the tragic death, and how those left in its wake are coping.