Russia DIDN'T interfere in 2020 voting process that saw Biden win, National Intelligence Director claims
THE Kremlin DIDN'T interfere in the controversial 2020 voting process that saw Joe Biden win the White House, National Intelligence spooks claim.
However, a 15-page declassified report reveals that Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, either oversaw or at least approved of election meddling in a covert bid to keep Donald Trump in power.
The intelligence report assessed with high confidence that Russian leaders "preferred that former President Trump win re-election despite perceiving some of his administration's policies as anti-Russia."
Washington is expected to impose sanctions on Moscow as soon as next week because of allegations in the findings released on Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, say sources.
Trump was left fuming after the Dems questioned the 2016 result, and disputed his win.
He continues to hold bitterness against those who undermined that victory by pointing to Russian interference efforts.
Trump was left aggrieved that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama undermined his 2016 success by saying Russia interfered in the election and swayed votes for him.
Interestingly, the new report highlighted there were "no indications that any foreign actor attempted to alter any technical aspect of the voting process in the 2020 US elections".
This included voter registration, casting ballots, vote tabulation, and reporting results.
The findings come after state and federal judges dismissed more than 50 lawsuits presented by then President Trump and his allies challenging the election or its outcome.
Intelligence officials found no evidence that foreign actors changed votes or otherwise disrupted the voting process in last November's presidential election.
"Unlike in 2016, we did not see persistent Russian cyber efforts to gain access to election infrastructure," the report explained.
Tuesday's document echoes what the Department of Homeland Security's cyber department determined the day after the election.
"Over the last four years, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has been a part of a whole-of-nation effort to ensure American voters decide American elections," CISA said at the time.
"Importantly, after millions of Americans voted, we have no evidence any foreign adversary was capable of preventing Americans from voting or changing vote tallies."
However, Russia tried to interfere with the 2020 election by pushing misinformation on Joe Biden to help Donald Trump win, according to the declassified intelligence report.
Putin "authorizied" and oversaw covert operations aimed at "denigrating Biden's candidacy" the findings conclude.
The document on foreign threats said Russia also aimed to "denigrate" the Democratic Party.
It did so by "supporting former President Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the US".
The report explains that "Russia state and proxy actors who all serve the Kremlin's interests worked to affect US public perceptions in a consistent manner.
"A key element of Moscow's strategy this election cycle was its use of proxies linked to Russian intelligence to push influence narratives."
This included "misleading or unsubstantiated allegations against President Biden".
These were aimed at "US media organizations, US officials, and prominent US individuals, including some close to former President Trump and his administration," it said.
It also insisted that President Putin "had purview over the activities of Adriy Derkach, a Ukrainian legislator who played a prominent role in Russia’s election influence activities."
Derkach, a member of Ukraine’s parliament and a 1993 graduate of a Russian spy academy, has aired corruption allegations against Biden and his son, Hunter.
Last year, Derkach released this year what he said were recordings of conversation between former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Biden when Biden was vice president during the Obama administration.
That effort was flagged in a US intelligence assessment back in August that warned of Russian interference in the upcoming election, and specifically efforts to denigrate Biden.
Aside from Russia, the report showed that Iran conducted a covert influence campaign aimed at undermining Trump’s reelection prospects.
As president, Trump pulled the US out of a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran and imposed fresh sanctions.
However, China did not meddle on either side in a likely reflection of its desire for a stable relationship with the US.
US officials said they also saw efforts by Cuba, Venezuela and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah to influence the election.
Although "in general, we assess that they were smaller in scale than those conducted by Russia and Iran," they added.
RUSSIA ‘TARGETED AMERICA’ – INTELLIGENCE REPORT
Despite threats, foreign hackers didn’t disrupt the 2020 US Presidential election, according to a report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
However, it added: "We identified some successful compromises of state and local government networks prior to Election Day.
"We assess these intrusions were parts of broader campaigns targeting US networks and not directed at the election.
"Some foreign actors, such as Iran and Russia, spread false or inflated claims about alleged compromises of voting systems to try to undermine public confidence in election processes and results.
"We assess that President Putin and other senior Russian officials were aware of and probably directed Russia's influence operations against the 2020 US Presidential Election.
"The primary effort the IC uncovered revolved around the narrative – that Russian actors began spreading as early as 2014 – alleging corrupt ties between President Biden, his family, and other US officials and Ukraine.
"Russian intelligence services relied on Ukraine-linked proxies and these proxies' networks – including their US contacts – to spread this narrative to give Moscow plausible deniability of their involvement.
"We assess that the goals of this effort went beyond the US presidential campaign to include reducing the Trump administration's support for Ukraine.
"As the US presidential election neared, Moscow placed increasing emphasis on undermining the candidate it saw as most detrimental to its global interests.
"We have no evidence suggesting the Ukrainian Government was involved in any of these efforts."
Source: Read Full Article