WASHINGTON –– A report released Friday by the US intelligence community found that Russia tried to influence the outcome of the election by boosting President-elect Donald Trump and harming Hillary Clinton.
“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” the report said.
“Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations,” the report continued.
The report said Moscow used a variety of tactics in a bid to sway the outcome.
“Moscow’s influence campaign followed a Russian messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations –– such as cyberactivity –– with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or ‘trolls,’” the report found.
The intelligence report said it had “high confidence” in the findings.