Biden says U.S. intelligence should brief campaigns about Russian interference

Joe Biden confident in South Carolina with African-American support

Washington — Former Vice President Joe Biden said Russia is behind fake Facebook accounts that oppose his candidacy and urged the intelligence community to disclose to Democratic campaigns Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2020 election.

"The Russians don't want me to be the nominee," Biden said on "Face the Nation" in an interview that aired Sunday. "They spent a lot of money on bots on Facebook and they've been taken down, saying Biden is a bad guy. They don't want Biden running."

The Democratic presidential hopeful said he hasn't been told by the intelligence community or Facebook about the fake accounts traced back to Russia but was sure they've been removed. Facebook in October revealed it took down a network of Russian-backed accounts, including some presenting as local people in swing states.

"No one's helping me to try to get the nomination," he said.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded Russia interfered in the 2016 election on President Trump's behalf, in part by using social media to sow division among U.S. voters. The Kremlin's efforts in the last presidential campaign led top government officials to warn Russia would likely attempt to meddle again in 2020. Intelligence officials briefed lawmakers about Russia's ongoing interference efforts on February 13.

Senator Bernie Sanders revealed Friday that U.S. officials briefed him roughly a month ago on Moscow's efforts to help his campaign and suggested Russian bots were behind the behavior of so-called "Bernie Bros," the name given to some of his supporters who troll Sanders' detractors.

Biden called for the intelligence community to brief the other presidential candidates on Russia's efforts to interfere in 2020, saying intelligence officials "should inform the rest of us who are running what they told Senator Sanders."

He also questioned why the Trump administration hasn't done more to protect the integrity of U.S. elections.

"Why in God's name haven't we hardened the electoral process, provided hundreds of millions of dollars to states to be able to harden their voter rolls, make sure they can't be attacked?" he said, adding it's "outrageous."