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Friday, January 6, 2017

U.S. intelligence report: Putin targeted election to 'harm' Hillary Clinton's chances

Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an intelligence operation against the U.S. presidential campaign and ultimately sought to help Donald Trump win the White House, according to a new U.S. intelligence report released Friday, shortly after the president-elect appeared to dismiss its key findings.

Putin both “aspired to help” Trump in November and to “harm” Trump’s rival, Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with leaks of pilfered emails and other covert activities, the report concludes in a dramatic expansion of official U.S. accusations against the Kremlin.

The report depicts the Russian operation as unprecedented, saying that an aggressive mix of digital thefts and leaks, fake news and propaganda represented “a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort” against a U.S. election campaign.

Moscow’s goals “were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency,” the report states. “We further assess Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.” (Continues at LA Times)

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