An explosive report by the Washington Post is claiming that Russian president Vladimir Putin directly interfered in the 2016 United States election.
Journalists Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima and Adam Entous write that a memo from the CIA to Barack Obama in August last year is reported to have said that Putin specifically ordered the cyberattacks on Hillary Clinton‘s presidential campaign in order to help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.
The result was the ongoing email leaks from Clinton’s campaign, which were seen by many as the cause of her crushing loss.
The Obama administration treated the potential Russian hacking with as much secrecy as they did the Osama bin Laden raids, and responded to the memo by kicking a bunch of Russian diplomats out of the country.
Meanwhile, Trump has marked his first six months in office with repeated claims that there was no interference from Russia in the election, using the Democrats‘ concerns to mock them:
Russia talk is FAKE NEWS put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2017
The Democrats had to come up with a story as to why they lost the election, and so badly (306), so they made up a story – RUSSIA. Fake news!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2017
Russia must be laughing up their sleeves watching as the U.S. tears itself apart over a Democrat EXCUSE for losing the election.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2017
This morning, however, he confirmed Russia’s meddling with this tweet:
Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2017
While the Washington Post has not accused Trump or his campaign or administration from working with Putin and the Russians to destabilise the democratic process, we will be watching this story as it unfolds very, very carefully.
Source: 9NEWS / Washington Post.
Image: Sean Gallup / Getty.