According to an American intelligence report released Thursday, Vladimir Putin is likely to have influenced the 2020 election in favor of former President Donald Trump.
The 15 page report, released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, only added more clout to the long list of current allegations that Trump’s top aides and advisors were playing into Moscow’s hands by amplifying claims made against then-candidate Joe Biden by Russian-linked Ukrainian figures in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election. The report also found that Putin either oversaw or at the least approved election meddling which would’ve aided Trump in his campaign for re-election.
According to three sources who wish to remain anonymous, the contents of the report are likely to trigger a round of U.S sanctions against the Kremlin as soon as next week. The report concluded that Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach enlisted unnamed U.S politicians in order to try and smear Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The report said that its likely Mr Derkachs movements were tracked, if not personally directed by Putin. The report states “Putin had purview over the activities of Andriy Derkach,” and that “Other senior officials also participated in Russia’s election influence efforts – including senior national security and intelligence officials who we assess would not act without receiving at least Putin’s tacit approval.”
Another man named Konstantin Kilimnik played a key role in helping Russian intelligence. The report said that Kilimnik and Derkachs met and handed over materials to Trump – linked people in order to push for formal investigations. Derkachs released four audio recordings which suggested that Biden tried to protect his son Hunter from a corruption probe in Ukraine. Russians also attempted to hack Ukrainian owned energy company Burisma “likely in an attempt to gather information related to President Biden’s family,” said the report. Hunter Biden used to serve on Burisma’s board.
The report also went on to say that Iran engaged in a “multi-pronged covert influence campaign” attempting to undercut Trump by swaying voters away from him in the 2020 election. U.S officials also admitted that they saw attempts made by Cuba, Venezuela and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah to influence the election.
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ARTICLE: NATHAN REID
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MASSLIVE.COM