Russia, Russia, Russia: DNI Report Claims Putin Meddled in 2020 Election

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From One America News Network

Russian President Vladimir Putin likely directed efforts to try to swing the 2020 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump, according to an American intelligence report released on Tuesday that sources said would likely trigger U.S. sanctions on Moscow.

The 15-page report, released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, added heft to longstanding allegations that some of Trump’s top lieutenants 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. It also added new findings that Putin either oversaw or at least approved of the election meddling to benefit Trump.

Washington is expected to impose sanctions on Moscow as soon as next week because of the allegations, three sources said on condition of anonymity.

The findings about Putin’s role are likely to receive particular attention given the report’s conclusions that Russia-backed figures such as Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach enlisted unnamed U.S. political figures in their campaign to smear Biden and his son Hunter.

The report named Derkach, who met Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani in 2019, as someone whose movements were tracked, if not directed, by Putin.

“Putin had purview over the activities of Andriy Derkach,” the report said. “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.”

Democrat Biden defeated Republican Trump and became president in January.

U.S. intelligence agencies and former Special Counsel Robert Mueller previously concluded that Russia also interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to boost Trump’s candidacy with a campaign of propaganda aimed at harming his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

Mueller found extensive contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia. Trump while president also faced questions about ties by his associates with Russia and Russia-linked figures in Ukraine. The U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump in 2019 – the first of two times – on charges arising from his request that Ukraine investigate the Bidens.

The U.S. intelligence report also found other foreign attempts to sway American voters in 2020 including a “multi-pronged covert influence campaign” by Iran intended to undercut Trump. As president, Trump pulled the United States out of a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran and imposed fresh sanctions.

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