The Office of the Director of National Intelligence just declassified a report on Russia’s bevy of election-swinging tricks that it rolled out in the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, and it’s downright horrifying. The investigation, which was conducted at the behest of President Obama in early December, highlights the seemingly countless number of ways Russia attempted to undermine the electoral process, and boldly points the finger at the Kremlin time after time.
The language in the report is extremely definitive, leaving no question as to whether or not Russia really was in the corner of Republican candidate Donald Trump or not. “Putin Ordered Campaign to Influence US Election,” reads one section. “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.”
The report also blames Russia for the hack of the Democratic National Committee and the subsequent release of emails through organizations like Wikileaks: “We assess that the GRU operations resulted in the compromise of the personal e-mail accounts of Democratic Party officials and political figures. By May, the GRU had exfiltrated large volumes of data from the DNC.”
The government also believes that Russian hackers have been breaching state and local electoral board websites in an attempt to learn more about the “technology and equipment” that the United States uses in its voting procedures. It believes Russia began this effort as far back as 2014.
Beyond that, the report also casts major skepticism on the RT news agency, which has gradually become a popular online destination for world news. The government believes that even RT America TV, which is operated from the U.S. but is funded by Russia, has been working with its home country to generate support for Russian interests from within the United States.
Needless to say, it’s a jaw-dropping look at just how deep the Russian rabbit hole goes, and it’s something you should take the time to read sooner rather than later.