Trump says China trying to meddle in U.S. congressional elections

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump accused China of seeking to meddle in the Nov. 6 U.S. congressional elections on Wednesday, saying Beijing did not want his Republican Party to do well because of his stance on trade.

“China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election, coming up in November. Against my administration,” Trump told a U.N. Security Council meeting whose ostensible subject was on nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Trump did not provide any evidence for his allegation. Chinese officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the remarks by Trump, who was chairing the Council meeting. He also used the topic to talk about Iran, North Korea and the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

“They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade and we are winning on trade, we are winning at every level. We don’t want them to meddle or interfere in our upcoming election,” said Trump, who is attending the U.N.’s annual gathering of world leaders.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he chairs a meeting of the United Nations Security Council held during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 26, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Trump himself is not up for re-election until 2020 but November’s voting will decide whether his Republican Party can keep control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. Some opinion polls show that the Democratic Party could make a strong showing in the elections.

During a roughly 10-minute speech, Trump made no reference to allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election that brought him to power.

The allegations have dogged his presidency and have given rise to an investigation by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller into potential collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

In July at a summit in Helsinki, Trump accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials and the U.S. president describes investigations into the interference as a political witch hunt.

However, Trump did fault Moscow, and Tehran, for their involvement in Syria’s civil war in support of President Bashar al-Assad. “The Syrian regime’s butchery is enabled by Russia and Iran,” he said.

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Reporting by Yara Bayoumy, Steve Holland and Michelle Nichols; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; editing by Grant McCool

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