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Russia and US elections

Jul 15,2017 - Last updated at Jul 15,2017

At a time when the US intelligence community is sure that Russia had interfered in the 2016 US presidential election, President Donald Trump emerged from his meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the recent G-20 summit in Hamburg convinced of the denial of Putin that nothing of the sort had really happened.

The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODMI) had already concluded that Putin had preferred Trump over Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that he personally ordered an “influential campaign” to harm Clinton’s chances of success.

In October 2016, ODNI and the US Department of Homeland Security jointly stated that Russian intelligence services had hacked the servers of the US Democratic National Committee, and the personal e-mail account of Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, forwarding all hostile or negative information on Clinton to WikiLeaks. 

ODNI also found that Russia had disseminated “fake news” to damage Clinton’s chances in the race to the White House.

US president at the time Barack Obama warned Putin in October 2016 to stop interfering in US presidential elections or “face serious consequences”. 

Of course, as is typical of Obama’s threats and warnings, nothing of the sort was done against Moscow.

After his one-on-one meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the recent G-20 summit, Trump emerged accepting the Russian president’s assurances that he did not interfere in the last US presidential elections.

This must have been music to the ears of Trump.

In other words, Trump readily took Putin’s denial at face value because it suits his purposes.

Trump said “nobody really knows for sure”, whether Moscow did or did not interfere in the election that he won, notwithstanding what the US intelligence community had concluded!

 

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in an interview that aired on CNN last Sunday that “everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections”.

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