Putin pushed Biden misinformation to Trump’s allies through the election
Russian President Vladimir Putin will chair a meeting with members of the government in Moscow on February 5, 2020.
Aleksey Nikolskyi | Sputnik | Kremlin | Reuters
Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, approved intelligence services to promote misinformation about President Joe Biden through the U.S. media and people close to then-President Donald Trump in an effort to increase Trump’s election chances, a U.S. intelligence report said Tuesday.
Specifically, the report said that Putin was “in control of the activities of Adriy Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker who played a prominent role in Russia’s electoral influence”.
Derkach, who has ties to Russian intelligence, is known to have met with Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney who spent months making discredited allegations against Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
The findings are outlined as the second “key verdict” of the National Intelligence Council’s declassified report on “Foreign Threats to the 2020 US Federal Election”.
“A key element of Moscow’s strategy in this election cycle has been the use of individuals connected to Russian intelligence to launder influence narratives, including misleading or unfounded allegations against President Biden by US media organizations, US officials and prominent US figures who were close to some of former President Trump and his administration, “the report reads.
“We estimate that President Putin and other high-ranking Russian officials knew and likely directed Russia’s influence operations against the 2020 presidential election,” the report said.
The report said that Russian intelligence agencies and people in Ukraine with ties to those services claimed there were “corrupt links between President Biden, his family and other US officials and Ukraine”.
“Russian intelligence agencies relied on Ukraine-affiliated proxies and the networks of those proxies – including their US contacts – to spread the story and plausibly deny Moscow that they were involved,” the report said.
“We believe that the goals of these efforts went beyond the US presidential campaign to reduce the Trump administration’s support for Ukraine. As the US presidential elections approached, Moscow placed increasing emphasis on undermining the candidate considered it most detrimental to its global interests. “”
The report said: “A network of people connected with Ukraine, including Russian influence agent Konstantin Kilimnik, who was also affiliated with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), has taken steps to improve relations throughout the electoral cycle the US to damage Ukraine, denigrate President Biden and his candidacy and benefit from former President Trump’s prospects for re-election. “
“We estimate that this network has also tried to discredit the Obama administration by highlighting corruption allegations by US officials and falsely accusing Ukraine of interfering in the 2016 US presidential election.”
Kilimnik, a key contributor to Paul Manafort, the embarrassed Republican adviser who once led Trump’s 2016 campaign, was identified by the Senate Intelligence Committee last summer as a Russian intelligence officer who may have helped coordinate the hacking and leakage of Democratic emails in 2016.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Said Tuesday, “The intelligence community’s assessment released today underscores what we all already knew – that Russia stepped in to back former President Trump, President Biden hurt and undermine confidence in our electoral process. “”
“Through proxy, Russia carried out a successful intelligence operation that penetrated the inner circle of the former president,” said Schiff. “People close to the former president have been attacked by agents of the Russian secret service, including Andriy Derkach and Konstantin Kilimnik, who washed misinformation into our political system in order to denigrate today’s President Biden and damage his candidacy.”
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