Did Putin Spy on The US in The 2016 Election and Back Trump?

Published July 15th, 2021 - 12:28 GMT
Putin helped Donald Trump in 2016 election
US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of their summit in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, July 16. Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Imag

Leaked documents allegedly to be from Kremlin suggested the Russian president Vladimir Putin of personally hiring a top secret spy operation in order to assist a 'mentally unstable' Donald Trump win the 2016 election in the USA.

The Russian strongman held a meeting with his spy chiefs and senior ministers in January 2016 where they agreed to support Trump in order to achieve Moscow's objectives of sowing 'social turmoil' in the US, the papers suggest.

A decree bearing Putin's signature ordered Russia's three agencies to find practical ways to support the then-Republican frontrunner, according to The Guardian who have seen the documents.

The documents also allude to compromising material the Kremlin holds on Trump from an earlier visit to Moscow.

They refer to 'certain events' during the reality star's trips to Moscow. 

Putin's expert department prepared a report recommending that he use 'all possible force' to ensure a Trump win in the November election of 2016.

At the time, while he was a favourite for the Republican nomination, Trump was still considered a major outsider for the White House compared to his rival Hillary Clinton.

The leaked documents from the January 22 meeting have allegedly been shown to Western spy agencies who carefully examined them and believe them to be genuine.

Independent experts say the tone of the papers is consistent with the Kremlin's style.

But Putin's spokesman Dmitri Peskov dismissed the claims, saying it was a 'great pulp fiction'.

The report, named 'No 32-04 \ vd' is classified as secret and says Trump is the 'most promising candidate' for Russia.

The US businessman is described as an 'impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex'. 

Helping him secure victory 'will definitely lead to the destabilization of the US's sociopolitical system', the report predicts.

A meeting led by Putin with his security officials and spy chiefs was definitely held in the Kremlin on the date of the alleged report.

Present were the then prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, defence minister Sergei Shoigu who is also in charge of the GRU foreign military intelligence agency, head of the SVR intelligence service Mikhail Fradkov, FSB boss Alexander Bortnikov and its former director Nikolai Patrushev.

A press release said the meeting covered the economy and Moldova.   

But the leaked documents suggest the covert purpose of the discussions was the confidential plans to aid Trump in his election bid. 

Putin's expert department, which provides the president with analytical reports, often based on foreign intelligence, is believed to be behind the documents allegedly written by Vladimir Symonenko.

On January 14, 2016, Symonenko circulated a three-page executive report of his team's findings.

Two days later, Putin signed an order instructing his foreign policy chief Alexander Manzhosin to gather the national security council to further study the document.

It is not known what they discussed in the meeting on January 22 but Putin and his officials signed off a multi-agency plan to interfere in the US democratic process, the leaked documents suggest.    

The papers identify US weaknesses including a deepening political gulf, an increasing anti-establishment sentiment and the media.  

Among the methods considered by the security council include inserting 'media viruses' into US public life which could affect the public mood, the documents suggest.

After the meeting, Putin issued a decree to set up a secret new interdepartmental commission to carry out the goals of the report as soon as possible, a separate leaked documents reveals. 

Each spy agency was given a rule, with GRU chief Shoigu as the head of the new body, responsible for collecting information and 'preparing measures to act on the information environment of the object'.

It is believed the command refers to hacking US targets identified by SVR, Russia's foreign intelligence service. 

The SVR was told to gather new information while the FSB was ordered to carry out counter-intelligence. 

The spy chiefs were given just one week to return with concrete proposals.

Putin has repeatedly denied claims that he has interfered in Western democracy. 

Weeks after the meeting, the Democratic National Committee was hacked with thousands of emails leaked in an attack believed to have been carried out by the GRU.  

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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