Putin-linked thinktank wrote plan to swing 2016 U.S. election in Trump's favor

A Russian thinktank controlled by Vladimir Putin's government crafted a written plan “to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system,” reports Reuters, citing three current and four former U.S. officials.


They described two confidential documents from the think tank as providing the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election. U.S. intelligence officials acquired the documents, which were prepared by the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, after the election.

The institute is run by retired senior Russian foreign intelligence officials appointed by Putin’s office.

The first Russian institute document was a strategy paper written last June that circulated at the highest levels of the Russian government but was not addressed to any specific individuals.

It recommended the Kremlin launch a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barack Obama, the seven officials said.

A second institute document, drafted in October and distributed in the same way, warned that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was likely to win the election. For that reason, it argued, it was better for Russia 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.

And later in Reuters' report:

Neither of the Russian institute documents mentioned the release of hacked Democratic Party emails to interfere with the U.S. election, according to four of the officials. The officials said the hacking was a covert intelligence operation run separately out of the Kremlin.

The overt propaganda and covert hacking efforts reinforced each other, according to the officials. Both Russia Today and Sputnik heavily promoted the release of the hacked Democratic Party emails, which often contained embarrassing details.

Exclusive: Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway 2016 U.S. election - documents

[Image: FILE PHOTO - A man, wearing a hat with an embroidery of the U.S. flag, votes on election day at a polling station in Harlem, New York, U.S., November 8, 2016. REUTERS]

Notable Replies

  1. Insert 'SHOCKED!'.gif here

    And how many thinktank plans does the U.S. have in it's past and present arsenal to swing elections in foreign countries?

    Kudos to Reuter's staff: Ned Parker and Jonathan Landay, additional reporting by Warren Strobel and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by David Rohde and Ross Colvin. Stay safe.

  2. Yri says:

    Huh. Imagine that.

    Now, if we could only prove collusion on the part of the campaign, I'll truly celebrate.

  3. Nonsense, Trump is easily the most defensive politician I've ever seen.

  4. Allow me to save the boys and girls in St Petersberg and Putin's useful idiots abroad some keystrokes:

    • Show me Putin's name on the shareholder list for this think tank. I thought not.
    • America is just as bad at interfering in foreign elections, ergo nothing to see here.
    • Why would Putin want to swing the U.S. election when he's all about Russia? It's not like he wanted one of his strongman fanbois in the Oval Office or like he wanted to undermine confidence in Western liberal-democratic institutions.
    • Just more Trumpophobia. He won the election fair and square. Sigh.

    [there, that covers the most typical bogus talking points they trot out in these threads]

    I doubt we'll ever find that out. A good KGB hand from the old days understands the value of twice- and thrice-removed cut-outs and useful idiots and heavy-duty kompromat.

    The best we can hope for is the regime continuing to bleed Russian shills like Flynn, Manafort and Page and to get a look at all the Russian bank loans on the president's* corporate tax returns.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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