Putin linked to plan to sway US election

The controversy over how much Russia tried to influence the US presidential election last year continues with the claim that two documents link Vladimir Putin to attempts to help Donald Trump’s campaign and to attack Hillary Clinton.

Reuters reports: Exclusive: Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway 2016 U.S. election – documents

A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters.

They described two confidential documents from the think tank as providing the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election. U.S. intelligence officials acquired the documents, which were prepared by the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies [en.riss.ru/], after the election.

The institute is run by retired senior Russian foreign intelligence officials appointed by Putin’s office.

The first Russian institute document was a strategy paper written last June that circulated at the highest levels of the Russian government but was not addressed to any specific individuals.

It recommended the Kremlin launch a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barack Obama, the seven officials said.

A second institute document, drafted in October and distributed in the same way, warned that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was likely to win the election.

For that reason, it argued, it was better for Russia to end its pro-Trump propaganda and instead intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the U.S. electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation in an effort to undermine her presidency, the seven officials said.

The documents were central to the Obama administration’s conclusion that Russia mounted a “fake news” campaign and launched cyber attacks against Democratic Party groups and Clinton’s campaign, the current and former officials said.

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

Four of the officials said the approach outlined in the June strategy paper was a broadening of an effort the Putin administration launched in March 2016. That month the Kremlin instructed state-backed media outlets, including international platforms Russia Today and Sputnik news agency, to start producing positive reports on Trump’s quest for the U.S. presidency, the officials said.

Several specific examples of the Russian news agencies involvement:

  • Russia Today and Sputnik published anti-Clinton stories while pro-Kremlin bloggers prepared a Twitter campaign calling into question the fairness of an anticipated Clinton victory, according to a report by U.S. intelligence agencies on Russian interference in the election made public in January. [bit.ly/2kMiKSA]
  • Russia Today’s most popular Clinton video – “How 100% of the 2015 Clintons’ ‘charity’ went to … themselves” – accumulated 9 millions views on social media, according to the January report. [bit.ly/2os8wIt]
  • Russia Today and Sputnik “consistently cast president elect-Trump as the target of unfair coverage from traditional media outlets.”

Sounds a lot like the Trump campaign. Who followed who’s lead?

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18 Comments

  1. This seems almost bizarre. I saw so many more anti-Trump stories in virtually all MSM, of which RT and Sputnik are not prominent members. I seriously doubt Trumpists watch them in any capacity. As for Twitter, I thought rednecks were all out hunting, fishing and reading Wilbur Smith. The MSM was busy asssaulting us with, what we now know was false news, re her chances at winning as high as 98.2%. I cannot believe that these “Russian swung it for Trump” stories are even considered to have comparative merit.

    At best the balance of MSM rooting and semi-rooting for Trump was confined to Infowars, Milo, Breitbart and Fox. The rest were mainly for the status quo and outright favoriting Hillary in all respects.

    Rt – who watches that?

    Reply
    • “RT – who watches that?” Apart from blazer and me for a laugh. 😉

      Reply
      • I saw RT pop up in news feeds quite a bit during the campaign.

        Reply
        • Well, I would have voted Clinton no matter what. Not because I liked her, but as a centrist I held to the status quo, for better or worse. I hoped that the Democrats would get their act together while she had “her turn”. I now see my reasoning as flawed. In a way, I think Trump will make the USA look in a mirror. He just might subject that country, and its archaic electoral process, to the shake up it sorely needs. I’m also throughly in favour of reducing Mexican cheap labour and unsullied illegal immigration in general – so it’s all positive there.

          Reply
          • Nelly Smickers

             /  April 22, 2017

            I’m another that is sooo pleased *Trumpy* won…..I can tell you now, that had he not gotten elected, we would have cancelled our subscription to Sky. They have so many *repeats* that there’s just nothing else on there worth watching 😡

            I saw a bit of *Rick Stein* in France the other night…..and even *Corky* was still alive ❗

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  April 22, 2017

              I was one of the many who were appalled that this bullying, lying, sexist, ignorant, boastful person was elected. He sees nothing wrong with sexual assault, he can’t stand being disagreed with, he says one thing and does another. He’s a child in a man’s body and I can only hope that he is not the disaster that he threatens to be.

  2. Oliver

     /  April 22, 2017

    Did you get this from Alex Jones at infowars? Sounds like fake news to me.

    Reply
    • It’s fairly obvious from “Reuters reports” and a link to Reuters who the source is.

      Reply
      • David

         /  April 22, 2017

        I wonder why they didn’t highlight this bit:

        “A second institute document, drafted in October and distributed in the same way, warned that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was likely to win the election. For that reason, it argued, it was better for Russia to end its pro-Trump propaganda and instead intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the US electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation in an effort to undermine her presidency, the seven officials said.”

        Reply
  3. This is stunning… NOT.

    Every single election the Russians and the US try to influence them in their favour.

    Hillary lost because she was a terrible, compromised candidate.

    Comey did, The Rus did it…… NO

    The people of heartland USA did because they have no hope and the Reaganesque rhetoric of Trump resonated with them. JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! were the battlecries of Trumps campaign and it worked….

    Are we still going to see these Democrats lost, cry and take home their ball stories forever?

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  April 22, 2017

      nailed it…dave.Time they accepted it.

      Reply
      • We agree for once Blazer…. it is definitely move on time with this one…

        Reply
        • No, it’s important to know what interference there was so it can be dealt with better in the future.

          Reply
          • Yeah Pete – sure. It only happens EVERY election….

            I know your not naive but seriously.

            Reply
            • That it happens in some way or another is a poor reason to ignore it or dismiss it, especially when it seems to be increasing in influence.

            • Who is ignoring or dismissing it Pete? I have no doubts the Rus played games – but I’m a grown up and understand that is how life rolls in high stakes games of international affairs.

              The ability for foreign nationals to hack and shape results of elections is one reason why I am not keen on electronic voting….

              But really I’m sick of it being represented as the reason an awful candidate failed to get elected. Failed on her merits, failed on the quality of her campaign, failed because the people of the US saw through her in sufficient numbers to not elect her.

              The post match whining is bordering on pathetic 6 months after the fact – when NO substantive evidence has been tabled to PROVE the Rus cooked the election. If it was there Obama would have had it out before he left office…

          • MaureenW

             /  April 22, 2017

            It probably important to know about the 81 elections the US has interfered with also (not including coups)

            Reply
  4. There seems to be an assumption that the US citizens who vote are easily persuaded by propaganda. I would think that most, but not all, US voters would vote for the side that promises them most of what they want . I recall way back at the start of the campaign asking why there seemed to be a huge groundswell for significant change, and general discontent that I had somehow missed. Now all of the negatives about the Democrats and Hilary emerged later in the campaign did it not? So even if the Russians were signalling a preference for Trump and opposed Hilary, I don’t think that would be decisive as all the Voter had to do was ask Why? The whole kerfuffle about this now is a Democrat planned and funded attempt to obstruct Trump’s policies from being implemented. The budget close down is a continuation of their attempt to mortally wound the Republican cause so come 2018, they can seize control of the House from the Republicans.

    Reply

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