The State Department said Monday that foreign leaders endorsing President Joe Biden’s re-election or campaigning against Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis aren’t engaging in foreign election interference.
State Department Principal Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel said at Monday’s press briefing that those actions do not fall under the category of foreign election interference, which the Biden administration has taken a number of steps to combat. Patel added that he would not speak for foreign leaders, but that the United States will continue not to take sides in foreign elections.
The State Department tells me that foreign leaders endorsing Joe Biden’s re-election or asking Hispanics not to vote for Ron DeSantis is *not* foreign election interference @DailyCaller pic.twitter.com/Q1wwlFrsce
— Dylan Housman (@Dylan_Housman) June 5, 2023
In recent weeks, several foreign leaders have weighed in on the 2024 U.S. presidential race. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz endorsed Biden’s campaign for re-election, while Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged Florida Hispanics not to vote for DeSantis after he announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
“I would not,” Patel said when asked if he would characterize actions like those as foreign interference in American elections. “These are foreign leaders expressing their own views about their bilateral relationship with the United States, and I will let their spokespeople clarify and add any context to their comments that you seek.”
“What we have been very clear about in the United States when elections have taken place in countries around the world, including in countries that are our allies and partners, is that we do not seek to support or choose a particular candidate or political party over another,” he continued. (RELATED: Top Mexican Diplomat Schedules Apparent Anti-DeSantis Event In Florida)
The Biden administration and its allies in media and at left-leaning policy organizations have spent years decrying foreign election interference, falsely claiming that Russia threw the 2016 presidential election to former President Donald Trump. The administration has implemented numerous policies aimed at curbing foreign influence on voters after the 2020 election, where many of the same parties again alleged that foreign actors like Russia were attempting to aid Trump.