A report released on Wednesday by Reuters revealed that a Moscow-based think tank that was linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin had come up with a plan to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election.
Three current and four former U.S. officials spoke with Reuters and said that the U.S. intelligence community obtained two confidential documents from the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies that justifies their conclusion that Russia did in fact interfered in the U.S. election.
According to the report:
“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.”
“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.”
“Putin had the objective in mind all along, and he asked the institute to draw him a road map,” said one of the sources, a former senior U.S. intelligence official.
A spokesperson for Sputnik stated in an email that the assertions by the U.S. officials that it participated in a Kremlin campaign as an “absolute pack of lies.”
“And by the way, it’s not the first pack of lies we’re hearing from ‘sources in U.S. official circles’,” the spokesperson said in an email.