The United States Office of National Intelligence on Friday released a full declassified report revealing that Russia’s president Vladmir Putin ordered an “influence campaign” that had only one mission in mind- to favour Donald Trump and harm Hillary Clinton’s chances in the just concluded U.S presidential elections.
According to the Intelligence report, Putin ordered “a significant escalation” to undermine “the US-led liberal democratic order” by hacking Democratic Party individuals like Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and releasing gained information as leaks via Wikileaks.
The report, from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence read;”We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,”
“Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations,”
“Moscow’s influence campaign followed a Russian messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations — such as cyberactivity — with overt efforts by Russian government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries and paid social media users or ‘trolls,’ ” the report continued.
“Before the election, Russian diplomats had already publicly denounced the US electoral process and were prepared to publicly call into question the validity of the results,” the reported stated, adding that pro-Russian government bloggers had prepared a Twitter campaign on Election Night using the hashtag “#DemocracyRIP.”
The report also noted that Russian TV’s coverage of ”Secretary Clinton … was consistently negative and focused on her leaked emails and accused her of corruption, poor physical and mental health, and ties to Islamic extremism.”
“Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him,” the report said
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