Conclusion of interference by Russia
The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released a declassified report purportedly supplying the details of a conspiracy theory that has dogged the victory of Donald Trump in the November presidential election: Russia’s alleged “influence campaign” that sought to tip the scales in favour of the property magnate.
The conclusions of the report:
1. Report concludes with “high confidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered such a campaign in 2016, which saw hacking of email accounts of Democratic Party officials and other political figures.
2. Personal information of the victims was passed on to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks and broader media, which in turn disseminated large troves of data.
3. These releases and public propaganda by the Russian regime, the report suggests, undercut the campaign of the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Amid boiling relations:
The report comes at a time when relations between Washington and Moscow could not be worse. President Barack Obama himself cited the “highest levels of the Russian government” as the provenance of this malicious cyber activity when he announced sanctions against Russia and expelled 35 diplomats from U.S. soil in December.