"At the end of September the Global Engagement Center obligated $40 million to support initiatives that counter disinformation propaganda spread by foreign countries," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters. "This funding will support a variety of efforts to counter Russian, Iranian and Chinese disinformation and propaganda."
Washington has repeatedly accused Russia, as well as China of trying to influence the elections held in the US. As a part of efforts, aimed to counter these alleged efforts, US President Donald Trump in September signed a document, allowing for sanctions to be placed on states or actors responsible for meddling in the country's elections. As US National Security Adviser John Bolton explained, the move was aimed to "protect the United States from foreign interference in our elections and really our political process more broadly."
Earlier this year, White House Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and three companies for allegedly meddling in the 2016 presidential election. These so-called "Russian hackers" supposedly purchased Facebook advertisements in an attempt to sway debate, but even Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has admitted that no proof exists that the final election result was actually influenced.
Moscow has repeatedly rejected any interference in the US 2016 presidential election, as well as meddling in other nations' affairs, calling these accusations "absurd." The Russian side has regularly pointed to the absence of evidence found by the United States during two separate probes into the claimed meddling.
China, for its part, has denied any attempts to influence the outcome of elections in the United States.