Just for the abject hilarity of it:
‘Kremlin papers appear to show Putin’s plot to put Trump in White House; Exclusive: Documents suggest Russia launched secret multi-agency effort to interfere in US democracy’, Luke Harding, Julian Borger and Dan Sabbagh, Thu 15 Jul 2021
“Vladimir Putin personally authorised a secret spy agency operation to support a “mentally unstable” Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election during a closed session of Russia’s national security council, according to what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin documents.
The key meeting took place on 22 January 2016, the papers suggest, with the Russian president, his spy chiefs and senior ministers all present.”” […]
“Western intelligence agencies are understood to have been aware of the documents for some months and to have carefully examined them. The papers, seen by the Guardian, seem to represent a serious and highly unusual leak from within the Kremlin.
The Guardian has shown the documents to independent experts who say they appear to be genuine. Incidental details come across as accurate. The overall tone and thrust is said to be consistent with Kremlin security thinking.”
‘The person to ‘weaken’ America: what the Kremlin papers said about Trump; Documents appear to show how Russian intelligence worked to install their preferred candidate as president’, Luke Harding and Dan Sabbagh, also Thu 15 Jul 2021
“That he was the Kremlin’s preferred candidate is not in doubt. What has been a source of endless conjecture is the lengths Russia was prepared to go to to help Trump win. The Guardian has spent months seeking to verify the authenticity of papers that may provide an answer to this question.” […]
“By autumn, President Obama was convinced Putin had personally approved the hacking operation, which Clinton believes cost her the presidency. In October 2016, Obama remonstrated with his Russian counterpart in a phone call, telling Putin his election meddling was “an act of war”. The 2019 report by special counsel Robert Mueller called the Kremlin’s operation “sweeping and systematic”. In 2020, the bipartisan Senate intelligence committee said it was “aggressive and multi-faceted”.
The committee detailed multiple interactions between individuals linked to the Russian government and Trump’s inner circle. The GRU spy Konstantin Kilimnik held clandestine meetings with Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Manafort supplied Kilimnik with private polling and other data. The pair communicated using encrypted messages and shared email drafts.” […]
“Putin has repeatedly denied claims he interferes in US politics. Western governments don’t believe him. According to US intelligence officials, Moscow sought to influence the 2020 election by spreading “misleading or unsubstantiated allegations” against Joe Biden. Last year, Russian state hackers penetrated numerous federal US institutions, in a massive cyber-attack.”
Related Stories: ‘Russia may have nuclear arms in Crimea, hacked EU cables warn; Diplomatic messages describe annexed area of Ukraine as ‘hot zone’ and Trump as ‘bully’
(cross-posted at caucus99percnt.com)