Putin approved operations to help Trump against Biden, according to report

Putin approved operations to help Trump against Biden, according to report”

Additionally, it found 'no indications that any foreign actor attempted to alter any technical aspect of the voting process in the 2020 US elections, including voter registration, casting ballots, vote tabulation, or reporting results'.

"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".

The intelligence community "identified some successful compromises of state and local government networks prior to Election Day-as well as a higher volume of unsuccessful attempts-that we assess were not directed at altering election processes", the report added.

"Foreign malign influence is an enduring challenge facing our country", Avril B. Haines, the director of national intelligence, said in a statement.

But Trump offered no evidence, and the intelligence report says China chose not to get directly involved in the USA election.

A key role was played by another man with Russian intelligence ties, Konstantin Kilimnik, according to the report.

In the end, officials said: "We have no indications that any foreign actor attempted to interfere in the 2020 United States elections by altering any technical aspect of the voting process, including voter registration, ballot casting, vote tabulation, or reporting results".

Unlike their findings regarding Russia's 2016 election interference, the intelligence community found no effort by the country's military to access US election infrastructure, but the report said the influence operations remained a common thread.

It specifically shot down a conspiracy theory floated by lawyers for former president Donald Trump's campaign that a voting tabulation company had links with Venezuela and manipulated election results in favor of his opponent Joe Biden.

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According to the report, those efforts included sowing false narratives to undercut Biden.

Russian President Vladimir Putin likely directed an effort by Moscow to try to swing the 2020 USA presidential election to Donald Trump, according to an American intelligence report released on Tuesday (March 16) that linked the Kremlin and allies of the former president. U.S. officials have said they regard Derkach as an active Russian agent, and today's report said Putin is believed to have "purview" over his activities. It underscored allegations that Trump's allies played into Moscow's hands by amplifying claims made against Biden by Russian-linked Ukrainian figures in the run-up to the November 3 election.

But it emphasised that the alleged interference attempts were largely indirect.

The authors of the report said they looked exclusively at the impact of foreign government activity on the security and integrity of election infrastructure. "They also made contact with established USA media figures and helped produce a documentary that aired on a United States television network in late January 2020".

Still, the Russians attempted to influence the election on several fronts.

The GRU is the agency whose officials were indicted by former special counsel Robert Mueller. The intelligence community says in its finding that there was no fraud from overseas.

Iranian cyberactors also launched a fake email campaign posing as right-wing Proud Boy activists who threatened Democratic Party voters in several USA states, an effort revealed a year ago by John Ratcliffe when he was director of national intelligence. It then sought to explain the difference of opinion, stating, "This view differs from the IC assessment because it gives more weight to indications that Beijing preferred former Trump's defeat and the election of a more predictable member of the establishment instead, and that Beijing implement some - and later increased - its election influence efforts, especially over the summer of 2020". "We assess that Supreme Leader Khamenei authorized the campaign and Iran's military and intelligence services implemented it using overt and covert messaging and cyber operations".

One senior US intelligence official involved in preparing the report dissented from its conclusions that China made no effort to influence the 2020 presidential election.

Update-March 16 at 2 p.m.

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