United States intelligence officials say Russian think tank drafted a plan to influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential election
The Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies has been linked to president Vladimir Putin
The strategy paper written last June, circulated at the highest levels of the Russian govt
The authors advised Kremlin to launch a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets encouraging U.S. voters to elect a president who would tow a softer line toward Russia than the Obama administration
The strategy was later modified to discredit the legitimacy of the electoral system and undermine the potential presidency of candidate Hillary Clinton
Reuters is reporting that a Moscow based Russian institute document informed the strategy for hijacking the electoral process during the recently concluded U.S. presidential elections.
The Russian Institute for Strategic Studies controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters.
The officials said the program kicked off with a strategy paper written last June that circulated at the highest levels of the Russian government but was not addressed to any specific individuals.
Russian President Vladimir Putin – Did he influence the last US presidential elections?
U.S. intelligence officials reportedly, acquired the documents, which were prepared by the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies [en.riss.ru/], after the election.
The two confidential documents from the think tank allegedly provided the framework and rationale for an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election.
The authors recommended the Kremlin launch a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets, encouraging U.S. voters to elect a president likely to tow a softer line toward Russia than the hard-line policies of the Obama administration.
As the campaign progressed, the strategy evolved with a second institute document circulated in October warning that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was likely to win the election.
It was better for Russia, it argued, to end its pro-Trump propaganda and instead intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the U.S. electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation in an effort to undermine her presidency, the seven officials said.
The institute which is run by retired senior Russian foreign intelligence officials appointed by Putin’s office. Russian President VladimirPutin has denied interfering in the U.S. election.
Speaking on conditions of anonymity, the group of current and former U.S. officials said the documents were central to the Obama administration’s conclusion that Russia mounted a “fake news” campaign and launched cyber attacks against Democratic Party groups and Clinton’s campaign.
President Donald Trump, cast as the beneficiary has maintained that Russia’s activities had no impact on the outcome of the race. In related developments, Congressional and FBI investigations into Russian interference in the last presidential elections are yet make public any and if the evidence exists that Trump associates colluded with the Russian effort to change the outcome of the election.