Reuters: Kremlin-Backed Think Tank Crafted Plan To Swing Election To Trump

|
April 19, 2017 5:33 p.m.

A Kremlin-backed think tank’s plan to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential race in Donald Trump’s favor was distributed at the highest levels of the Russian government, Reuters reported Wednesday.

A handful of current and former U.S. officials told Reuters that the first document, compiled by the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies in June, urged the Kremlin to wage a propaganda war on social media and state-backed media outlets promoting a U.S. candidate who supported better relations with Russia. Another paper, released in October when pundits and polls were predicting a Hillary Clinton victory, argued in favor of promoting claims about voter fraud to stoke questions about the legitimacy of the election results.

President Vladimir Putin’s office appoints the retired Russian intelligence officials who work at the institute, according to Reuters.

The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the U.S. election, with Putin calling such allegations “lies” used to promote “domestic American political agendas.” The Institute and Kremlin did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

These documents are in line with the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of how exactly Russia took steps to sway the election, which included the promotion of “fake news” stories, use of bots to push that false information, and cyber-hacking campaigns against Democratic targets. The Senate and House Intelligence Communities are currently investigating the extent of Russia’s interference into the presidential race, and whether Trump staffers collaborated with Russian officials to do so.

“Putin had the objective in mind all along, and he asked the institute to draw him a road map,” a former senior U.S. intelligence official told Reuters.

Newsletters
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.
Latest Livewire
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: