Greenfield: A Chinese Influence Operation Promoted an Anti-Trump PAC for the Midterms

In May 2022, Mary Trump tweeted, “Hundreds of voter subversion laws are only a governor’s signature away from going into effect. Please join the Democracy Defense Fund in supporting these gubernatorial candidates who are committed to protecting our #VotingRights.”

Mary Trump, the former president’s niece, has become an anti-Trump figure specializing in deranged rhetoric like calling him “mass murderer criminal Donald Trump”. DDF is a PAC that is intervening in races across the country, including in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Ohio.The Democracy Defense Fund, a nationwide PAC, was supposedly created by Mary Trump, who has no apparent background or ability to create or manage such an organization. After an extensive search, I was unable to locate any other employees or personnel involved with it.Who’s really behind DDF which claims to have a nationwide reach for the midterms?Aside from Mary’s name out front, the DDF PAC has been a black box. The site only mentions her name and no other employees, advisers or board members. And yet DDF has sent out fundraising emails urging donations to Stacey Abrams, Beto O’Rourke and Raphael Warnock. It bombarded mailboxes with a plea from Mandela Barnes, running against Senator Ron Johnson: something that the Democrat Senate candidate and DDF could do because it’s a hybrid PAC.The only address listed by DDF is a post office box at a Bay Area post office. But this particular post office is also used by the Hold the House PAC fronted by former Democratic Rep. Mike Honda and run by a Silicon Valley strategy firm. The former congressman was a controversial figure who was accused of a pay-to-play scheme with donors.An Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) report stated that there is “substantial reason to believe … Honda improperly tied official activities to past or potential political support.”Honda’s “1,000 Cranes” list served as an index of special favors that appeared to be performed for top donors. And Honda was one of the politicians targeted by Fang Fang, a Chinese spy. Honda can be seen posing with the foreign agent at the Chinese Embassy in D.C.The existing questions about who is really behind the Democracy Defense Fund took on a new urgency with the release of the Dragonbridge or the Spamouflage Dragon influence operation running out of China. The latest Chinese operation in which operatives pretended to be Americans made waves because for the first time they appeared to be directly interfering in an election by adopting American personas and promoting American political organizations.While the Chinese Communist operatives pretended to be Americans from across the spectrum, the Left and the Right, one tweet was notable. It read, “Hundreds of voter subversion laws are only a governor’s signature away from going into effect. Please join the Democracy Defense Fund in supporting these gubernatorial candidates.”Dragonbridge was amplifying Mary Trump’s tweet and promoting the Democracy Defense Fund. There is no record of the Chinese influence operation promoting any other PACs.DDF claims that “our democracy is in danger”, but it’s being promoted by one of the world’s most brutal totalitarian dictatorships which is at war with the United States. It alleges that Republicans are “planning the next coup”, but DDF’s amplification by Communist China raises questions about where the real backing for the next coup is coming from.The account in question has since been suspended but it raises troubling questions about not only Communist China’s involvement in the midterms, but its support for a Democrat PAC.And it makes it more urgent than ever to answer the question of who’s really behind DDF.While the Democracy Defense Fund seeks to intervene in battleground elections, its only listed address is in the Bay Area. That is also where China’s espionage and influence operations are strongest. It’s also the wellspring of money pouring into American elections.California is the only state where the PRC’s Ministry of State Security has a unit. Chinese operatives were able to recruit a staff member working for Senator Dianne Feinstein. Fang Fang pursued primarily California Democrats like Rep. Eric Swalwell and Rep. Ro Khanna.Chinese-owned firms have already been caught donating to PACs. Others, like Huawei, TikTok and Hikvision have invested a fortune in lobbying Congress. But beyond the millions of dollars being spent by companies with links to the Communist Party, and with lobbyists formally registered as foreign agents, there is a hidden underworld of spies and political operatives.It may be entirely a coincidence that a Chinese influence operation promoted a Democrat PAC, just a question of random algorithms and 50-cent party ignorance, but it is dangerous to assume that China has no interest in our political system and no plans for calculatedly disrupting it.The Biden administration and the Democrats have dismantled many of the safeguards and preventative measures put into place to deter China by the Trump administration.The destruction of the China Initiative by the Biden administration in particular has given the Communist enemy regime a green light to resume its mass theft of our technologies and secrets. Would Beijing like this state of affairs to continue? The answer is all too obvious.A shadowy PAC with a post office box is out to influence midterm elections in Georgia, Ohio and Pennsylvania among other places. An even more shadowy Chinese influence operation has promoted it. While the media has eagerly talked up Mary Trump, it’s shown no interest in the question of who is behind the Democracy Defense Fund. That lack of accountability is a cloak under which foreign interests and enemy states can operate safely while knowing that they won’t be exposed. The media would rather attack Republicans than defend America.And Communist China knows it.Who is behind the Democracy Defense Fund? The answer likely lurks in the Bay Area, but who is to say that it may not have an echo thousands of miles away in the corridors of Beijing?

Daniel Greenfield

Daniel Greenfield is a blogger and columnist born in Israel and living in New York City. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a contributing editor at Family Security Matters. Daniel's original biweekly column appears at Front Page Magazine and his blog articles regularly appear at Family Security Matters, the Jewish Press, Times of Israel, Act for America and Right Side News, as well as daily at the Canada Free Press and a number of other outlets. He has a column titled Western Front at Israel National News and his op eds have also appeared in the New York Sun, the Jewish Press and at FOX Nation. Daniel was named one of the Jewish Press' Most Worthwhile Blogs from 2006-2011 and his writing has been cited by Rush Limbaugh, Melanie Philips, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Judith Klinghoffer, John Podhoretz, Jeff Jacoby and Michelle Malkin, among others. Daniel's blog,, is a daily must-read.

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