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.
“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.”
“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