The Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that the Russian government used social media in the 2016 election to help President Trump secure victory and hurt the Hillary Clinton campaign, the panel said in an 85-page report released on Tuesday.
The report examined the efforts of the Saint Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, which has also been the target of charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.
“The Committee found, that the IRA sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential
election by harming Hillary Clinton’s chances of success and supporting Donald Trump at the direction of the Kremlin,” the document reads.
The report is a rebuke to the denials — that have been parroted back by President Trump — from Russian President Vladimir Putin that his government was directly involved in the meddling efforts.
The committee’s findings come as an impeachment inquiry into a Trump scheme to pressure Ukraine to probe conspiracy theories minimizing Russia’s role in the 2016 election heats up.
The report found that the Moscow “tasked and supported the IRA’ s interference in the 2016 U.S. election,” while highlighting the ties Putin has with Yevgeniy Prigozhin – the oligarch said to have financed the troll campaign.
“Despite Moscow’s denials, the direction and financial involvement of Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin, as well as his close ties to high-level Russian government officials including President Vladimir Putin, point to significant Kremlin support, authorization, and direction of the IRA’ s operations and goals.“
Read the report here: