Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin, approved intelligence agencies to promote misinformation about Joe Biden by the US media and people close to then-President Donald Trump during the 2020 election cycle to increase Trump’s chances of re-election, a US intelligence report said .
Specifically, the declassified report released on Tuesday stated that Putin was “in control of the activities of Adriy Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker who played a prominent role in Russia’s electoral lobbying”.
Derkach, who has ties to Russian intelligence, is known to have met with Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, who for months made discredited allegations against current President Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
The results are outlined as the second “key judgment” of the National Intelligence Council’s report “Foreign Threats to the 2020 US Federal Election”.
“A key element of Moscow’s strategy in this election cycle has been the use of individuals connected to Russian intelligence to launder influence narratives, including misleading or unfounded allegations against President Biden by US media organizations, US officials and prominent US figures who were close to some of former President Trump and his administration, “the report reads.
A White House official asked about the report Tuesday told NBC News that from his first phone with Putin, Biden “knew that the United States would respond to a number of destabilizing Russian actions, including reports on the.” SolarWinds hack by Russia imposing bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan, meddling in US 2020 election, and poisoning Aleksey Navalny. “
“You have already seen that we have taken a number of measures to respond to the use of a chemical weapon by Russia in the attempted murder of Alexey Navalny,” the official said. “There will be more soon.”
The intelligence report references Putin directly, saying that the Russian leader and “other high-ranking Russian officials knew and likely directed Russia’s influence operations against the 2020 presidential election.”
The report said that Russian intelligence agencies and people in Ukraine with ties to those services claimed there were “corrupt links between President Biden, his family and other US officials and Ukraine”.
“Russian intelligence agencies relied on Ukraine-affiliated proxies and the networks of those proxies – including their US contacts – to spread the story and plausibly deny Moscow that they were involved,” the report said.
“We believe that the goals of these efforts went beyond the US presidential campaign to reduce the Trump administration’s support for Ukraine. As the US presidential elections approached, Moscow placed increasing emphasis on undermining the candidate considered it most detrimental to its global interests. “”
The report said: “A network of people connected with Ukraine, including Russian influence agent Konstantin Kilimnik, who was also affiliated with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), has taken steps to improve relations throughout the electoral cycle the US to damage Ukraine, denigrate President Biden and his candidacy and benefit from former President Trump’s prospects for re-election. “
“We estimate that this network has also tried to discredit the Obama administration by highlighting corruption allegations by US officials and falsely accusing Ukraine of interfering in the 2016 US presidential election.”
Kilimnik, a key contributor to Paul Manafort, the embarrassed Republican adviser who once led Trump’s 2016 campaign, was identified by the Senate Intelligence Committee last summer as a Russian intelligence officer who may have helped coordinate the hacking and leakage of Democratic emails in 2016.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Said Tuesday, “The intelligence community’s assessment released today underscores what we all already knew – that Russia stepped in to back former President Trump, President Biden hurt and undermine confidence in our electoral process. “”
“Through proxy, Russia carried out a successful intelligence operation that penetrated the inner circle of the former president,” said Schiff. “People close to the former president have been attacked by agents of the Russian secret service, including Andriy Derkach and Konstantin Kilimnik, who washed misinformation into our political system in order to denigrate today’s President Biden and damage his candidacy.”