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"We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US 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..."

We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

Moscow’s influence campaign followed a Russian messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations—such as cyber activity—with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or “trolls.”

“Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”
6 January 2017

Donald Trump - The Manchurian Candidate?

A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) - one of his closest allies in Congress — told fellow GOP leaders: “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”. This was according to a recording of the June 15, 2016, exchange, which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation. Some of the lawmakers laughed at McCarthy’s comment. Then McCarthy quickly added: “Swear to God.” Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: “No leaks. ... This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

US intelligence has accused Russia of hacking the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers and leaking information compromising former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to WikiLeaks prior to US presidential elections in an effort to boost Trump's chances of victory. Russia repeatedly denied the accusations of US intelligence of attempts to influence the elections in the United States, and the Russian president's press secretary Dmitry Peskov called them "absolutely unsubstantiated." Maxine Waters, Member of the House of Representatives from the Democratic Party, believes that the US missile attack on Syria was aimed at diverting attention from US President Donald Trump's plans to lift sanctions against Russia. During a rally in Washington, she claimed that the situation in Syria is just a "phony tension between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, all being hyped up by the White House, still trying to distract us," the politician said 15 April 2017. According to Waters, the escalation of the tension between Moscow and Washington due to the situation in Syria is just a spectacle. From her point of view, Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are "tied at the hip" and the ultimate goal of fueling the "tension" is the withdrawal of sanctions against Russia.

US Representative John Lewis said 15 January 2017 "I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president... I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected." House Democrat Jared Huffman of California said Trump is “so thin-skinned and classless, and so utterly incapable of growing up. As our President, he is going to bring disgrace, chaos, controversy and conflict unlike anything we’ve ever seen.”

General James Mattis, defense secretary nominee, testified Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to divide Nato nations. “I think right now the most important thing is that we recognise the reality of what we deal with with Mr Putin,” he told the Armed Services Committee.... And we recognise that he is trying to break the North Atlantic Alliance and that we take the steps… to defend ourselves where we must."

"Happy New Year to all," Trump wrote 31 December 2016, "including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!"

"Russia talk is FAKE NEWS put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks!" Trump wrote 26 February 2017 on Twitter.

The book "The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin" was published in the United States in June 2017. The book was published by Skyhorse Publishing. The author, Dan Kovalik, is a US journalist, human, labor rights lawyer and peace activist, as well as Adjunct Professor of Law at the Pitt Law faculty of the University of Pittsburgh. Kovalik has described every President of the United States that followed World War II as a "War Criminal".

According to Kovalik, accusations of Russia's "meddling in US elections" should be viewed in the broad context of Russian-US relations. Kovalik criticized the confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War and wrote that the United States subsequently interfered in Russia's internal affairs, violated promises and tried to humiliate Moscow. The current talks about "Russian hackers" is an attempt to make Moscow a "scapegoat," which may lead to nothing else than a new dangerous confrontation with Russia, the book's author said.

"I supported detente [when Russia was the Soviet Union] and I support detente now. I see Russia as a potential ally and friend. I don’t see Russia as a threat. I don’t support this Russia bashing that’s happening in the United States, which is largely been done for political gain by the Democrats. I’m not a [US President Donald] Trump supporter, I didn’t vote for Trump, I’m liberal-to-left, actually. But I’m still 'right is right' and 'wrong is wrong', and I don’t support the Democrats using this issue as a bludgeon against Trump, because it’s going to lead or could lead to very serious consequences … there are people pushing for military confrontation [with Russia]," Kovalik said in an interview.

Accusations against Russia are questionable for a number of reasons — outdated technology of the alleged hacking, the presence of CIA's technologies allowing them to hack the computer and to make it look like someone else has done it, as well as the Democrats' refusal to give the FBI access to the hacked servers, Kovalik explained, adding that he suspected that hacking might not have happened at all.

"What is shaping up to be a new McCarthy period, in which people are accused of being dupes for Russia for simply questioning the prevailing anti-Russian discourse, is obviously different from the old one, but with essentially the same intention and effect – to curb dissent, particularly with regard to US foreign policy, which, by any rational measure, is incredibly destructive for our country and the world at large," Kovalik wrote in his book.

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