In February, as President Trump was projecting confidence that China’s Xi Jinping had the coronavirus under control, his deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger received some alarming information. The virus was spreading beyond China’s borders, and so, U.S. officials warned, was a disinformation campaign from the Communist Party in Beijing.
Chinese leaders, Pottinger believed, were engaging in a massive coverup and a “psychological warfare” operation to obscure the origins of the virus and deflect blame, according to people with knowledge of his thinking. U.S. intelligence officials were picking up signs that Chinese operatives were deliberately sowing disinformation, including state media manipulating stories to change key facts, the people said.
Read the full article and more in The Washington Post.