Report: Putin ordered campaign interference

Elections | Intelligence officials say the Kremlin sought to discredit Hillary Clinton
by Evan Wilt
Posted 1/06/17, 05:36 pm

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released an unclassified version of its Russian election hack review today concluding the Kremlin sought to discredit Hillary Clinton so Donald Trump would win the presidency.

“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election,” read the joint report from the U.S. intelligence community. “Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.”

In the weeks leading up to the election, the website WikiLeaks released a trove of stolen emails from Clinton aides and the Democratic National Committee. After growing claims of Russia’s involvement in the hack, President Barack Obama ordered a complete review of the Kremlin’s actions early last month. Today, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper briefed congressional leaders and Obama in Washington on the intelligence community’s findings and then informed Trump in New York City this afternoon. Most of the report is still classified, but Clapper released a 25-page redacted version for the public that implicates Putin directly in attempting to aid Trump’s chances at winning.

The report asserts Putin wanted to help Trump by obtaining and releasing damaging information about Clinton. The CIA and FBI have “high confidence” in those claims, and the National Security Agency has “moderate confidence.”

Intelligence officers also said one of Russia’s goals was to undermine American faith in a free and fair election process.

The report said Moscow coordinated the efforts through an orchestrated messaging strategy from Russian government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users who “trolled” online.

After his briefing, Trump still remained skeptical Russia succeeded in its intended goals outlined in the report.

“There was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election, including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines,” Trump said in a written statement following the briefing.

Yet the president-elect said this is an area of concern and announced he would appoint a cybersecurity team to prevent future attacks within 90 days of taking office.

Intelligence officials asserted in the unclassified report they expected Russia to continue its online propaganda effort to influence U.S. allies and future elections based on lessons learned from tampering in 2016.

This week, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claimed none of his group’s information came from the Russian government or individuals connected to the Kremlin. Today’s report states the intelligence community believes with “high confidence” Russia relayed information to WikiLeaks and other media outlets.

Evan Wilt

Evan is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former WORLD reporter.

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  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Fri, 01/06/2017 09:16 pm

    So are you saying that Obama did everything possible to keep Russian propaganda out of the US the last 8 years? Are you saying that Obama did not kick out the Russians and embellish the intelligence reports to create a narrative that Trump is an illegitimate president and a Russian puppet?   I guarantee you that you will see this narrative again and again with the goal of sidelining Trump's agenda and preventing the conservative agenda from advancing!  They will use this to question his cabinet posts to stall, delay, and obstruct!  We need both wisdom and vision if we are going to succeed in advancing the cause of Christ.

  • JerryM
    Posted: Fri, 01/06/2017 11:52 pm

    Thank you for the link to evidence.

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Sat, 01/07/2017 03:57 am

    It is hardly evidence! It is very vague and does not prove the Russians hacked the DNC.  Do the Russians run propaganda campaigns? Of course they do, like most the countries of the world, but again it does not prove they hacked the DNC nor substantially messed with our election.  What should be obvious is that Obama, who has never shown any real concern for hacking before, sees this as a chance to advance a narrative to delegitimize Trump and defeat the conservative agenda by claiming Trump is a Russian puppet! Obama has had eight years to organize the intelligence communities the way he wants, so given his record of dishonesty (Benghazi, IRS scandal, fast and furious, etc.), I don't trust him to give the truth.  Over the eight years of Obama, he has taken little action to stem the tide of hacking by Russia, China, North Korea, and many other nations, so the fact that we have so much hacking going on is a reflection of Obama's failure.  When the Chinese hacked into the US government computers and stole the personal information of most the government workers, he did mostly nothing about it. Why should we believe Obama now when he is painting a political narrative for his own purpose?  We also have clear evidence that Obama is working overtime to create a mess for Trump. This can be seen by Obama allowing and crafting the resolutions against Israel which may be impossible to undo. Even now the names of Israelis and companies are being drawn up, so they can go after them legally. Obama is creating national parks using the Antiquities Act, to advance environmentalism to prevent the extraction of our natural resources from the ground.  Trump will have to fight this legally and it may be difficult, since there is no legal precedent in reverting national parks back to what they were before.  Obama is letting hardened ISIS killers go from Guantanamo Bay  over the objections of Trump. He is letting drug dealers and drug users in prison out.  He is not allowing drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean.  All of these actions are meant to create a political mine field for Trump to derail his conservative agenda, such as preventing abortion, nominating a Scalia type judge to the Supreme Court, cutting back on government regulation, increasing national defense, promoting family values, decreasing our national debt and much more. We should not be distracted by these political charges of hacking made by Obama, for he is creating a narrative to defeat Trump!  

  • JerryM
    Posted: Sun, 01/08/2017 07:00 am


    I take your point.  I never read the report but was responding to a comment-request I made in an earlier article.  

    Indeed, I just read Michael Goodwin's piece in the NY Post and he is quite emphatic the report containd "zero evidence".

    How the intelligence communites can be so emphatic about Russian actions and motives, it is hard to believe there is a conspriacy to deligitimize Trump's presidency...

  • CarolinaDave's picture
    Posted: Sat, 01/07/2017 05:02 pm

    If it is true that Putin ordered interference in our election in the US, he may have gotten the concept from President Obama.  Under Obama's leadership, we openly interfered (unsuccessfully) in Israel's election to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu, and successfully interfered in Kenya's referendum to ratify a new, gay-friendly constitution that was initially headed for defeat.

    Why then should we be surprised if a foreign power chooses to interfere in our election?  What goes around comes around!.  

  • OlderMom
    Posted: Sat, 01/07/2017 09:20 pm

    I'm not sure what the Kremlin could have said to discredit her. I didn't hear anything worse than her record on Benghazi, her record with classified emails, and her support for abortion and Obamacare. Anyone who wasn't concerned about those things would surely not believe anything worse about her.

  • Steve SoCal
    Posted: Sat, 01/07/2017 11:37 pm

    Isn't this standard operating procedure for most world powers, to try to influence the policies and even the outcome of elections in other countries in ways that seem more favorable to them?  Are we really so naive to be surprised about that?  This storyline is great for the "progressive" left because it diverts attention from the fact that not all Americans are mindlessly following the progressive agenda, and in fact a broad majority of America, outside of a few liberal population centers, voted to reject the extremist, and elitist, policies that have begun to take hold in recent years.

  •  CaptTee's picture
    Posted: Sun, 01/08/2017 10:57 pm

    Something out this report doesn't seem right.

    When have the Soviets/Russians ever done anything to support a potentially strong opponent?

    Wouldn't a President Clinton, who they could blackmail, be better than a President Trump who would stand up to them?

    I have no doubt that the Russians likely know what was on Hillary Clinton's unsecure server, but it is not their modus operendi to just leak information that has high blackmail value.  I don't believe the Russians leaked any of the information they are being accused of leaking and I have not seen any evidence present to support the claim either.

  • jclark53
    Posted: Mon, 01/09/2017 01:31 am

    Whoever did it, whatever their goal was, the fact is that the leaked evidence has never been disproven in any way. Whatever happened was because of the evidence that was leaked, not because someone interfered (or didn't interfere.) If something can be potentially damaging, don't do it in the first place.