On an interview that aired on CNN, former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden claimed today that Russia would not be interfering in elections under “my watch.”
Former Vice President Biden stated, “Look at what’s happening with Putin. While he is trying to undo our elections, he is undoing elections in Europe. Look at what’s happening in Hungary; look what’s happening in Poland; look what’s happened to Moldova. Look at what’s happening. You think that would have happened under my watch or Barack’s watch?”
“You can’t answer that but I promise you it wouldn’t have and it didn’t,” Biden added.
When looking at former Vice President Biden’s remarks both in a localized and general sense, he is clearly incorrect.
Biden suggests that European elections would not have been interfered with by the Russians under his watch and that they were not interfered with. However, within the context of Europe, there is much doubt surrounding Biden’s comments.
In the May 2014 elections in Ukraine, pro-Russian cyber groups attacked Ukraine’s Central Election Commission website in 2014, in addition to shutting down the Ukrainian electricity distribution systems in December 2015 and 2016, according to a U.S. Senate report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Professor Vesko Garčević notes that Russian media had developed and implemented a “campaign [that] had been particularly intensive a few months before Montenegro got an invitation to join NATO on December 2, 2015, and several weeks before and during the Parliamentary elections held in October 16, 2016” to sway public opinion on NATO membership.
In a more general sense, Vice President Biden clearly did not stop Russian interference outside of Europe, given that “individuals with connections to the Russian government” were said to have given WikiLeaks hacked emails from the DNC, according to an initial intelligence community assessment and the Mueller report.
The Mueller report also concludes that a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), sought to conduct disinformation to interfere with the U.S. elections in 2016.
The former vice president only continues to add more material to his list of gaffes.