"He may not be a friend of mine anymore but I think he probably respects me", said the president, who said the United States economy was easily weathering the impact of the trade dispute. "We are winning at every level", he said, veering off course in a meeting that was supposed to be about proliferation concerns.
During the Security Council meeting, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi responded to Trump's accusation by denying any interference. Some noted their surprise and disagreement with a decision by the China Daily to place advertisements in newspapers in the Des Moines Register and other papers. Journalists from American media outlets who are critical of China often have trouble renewing visas and are sometimes booted out.
Trump has spoken many times since coming to office of his friendship with Xi, praising the Chinese leader for his role in helping bring pressure to bear on North Korea over its nuclear program.
All those products are targeted in the latest trade sanctions on USA imports. He said that China's alleged activities were the result of an ongoing trade dispute between the two countries.
In a subsequent briefing call with reporters, a senior administration official said Beijing was employing a coordinated, "whole-of-government" approach to stifle free speech, disseminate propaganda, and engage in intimidation tactics using political economic, commercial, military and informational tools.
President Donald Trump says China has been meddling in the November election in the United States. He did not mention previously reported efforts by Russian Federation to interfere with the midterms. The official said these practices have reached "an unacceptable level". "However, these negative effects are more than compensated by gains in China's net export position: the United States imports fewer Chinese goods, but that is cushioned by trade diversion to third countries; where Chinese exporters gain market share at the expense of USA exporters".
The official said the administration is "in the process of declassifying more information" and said Vice President Mike Pence will outline the Chinese effort in a speech next week at the Hudson Institute.
While Russia's role in manipulating the 2016 election in Trump's favor is the subject of the special counsel's investigation, until recently there were no allegations of Chinese political meddling. Most notably, Australia has accused China of "brazen" and "aggressive" attempts to influence Australian politics.
There is extensive evidence linking Russian Federation to attempts to penetrate USA elections systems and to influence U.S. voters.
FILE - Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testifies during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 13, 2018.
In Wednesday's speech to the Security Council, Trump's comments on China came as he reiterated his plan to reimpose sanctions on Iran, as part of the US withdrawal from an global agreement on Tehran's nuclear program.
China's state-controlled media was more direct, saying if the country had been successful in influencing elections, the USA would not have slapped billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese goods, The Guardian reported.