US President Donald Trump has accused China of hacking the emails of his 2016 presidential election opponent Hillary Clinton, despite an ongoing investigation into Russian involvement by US officials.
"Hillary Clinton’s Emails, many of which are Classified Information [sic], got hacked by China. Next move better be by the FBI & DOJ or, after all of their other missteps (Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr, FISA, Dirty Dossier etc.), their credibility will be forever gone!" Trump wrote in a tweet this morning.
He also wrote in a separate tweet earlier in the day:
China hacked Hillary Clinton’s private Email Server. Are they sure it wasn’t Russia (just kidding!)? What are the odds that the FBI and DOJ are right on top of this? Actually, a very big story. Much classified information!
US intelligence officials have previously said Russia was the source of hacks against Democratic officials during the 2016 presidential election.
In July, a federal grand jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence operatives on charges alleging their involvement in hacking the emails of Clinton and other party representatives.
Trump first accused China of hacking the emails of Democratic officials in April 2017 in a similar manner, providing no evidence at the time. He has yet to provide evidence to back up these most recent claims.
A spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry told a daily news briefing that "this isn't the first time we've heard similar kinds of allegations".
"China is a staunch defender of cybersecurity. We firmly oppose and crack down on any forms of internet attacks and the stealing of secrets".
China and the US are currently embroiled in an ongoing trade war, with both sides imposing steep tariffs on a variety of goods and services.
Trump also lashed out at tech giant Google in a series of tweets yesterday, alleging the search engine rigged results for "Trump News" against him in favour of critical articles from "leftwing media" publications such as CNN.
"I think Google is really taking advantage of our people," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office later that day.
"Google, and Twitter and Facebook, they are really treading on very, very troubled territory, and they have to be careful. It’s not fair to large portions of the population."
Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the White House is conducting "some investigation and analysis" into Google, without providing further details.