Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Elections

The Mueller Report, March 2019

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Office of Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst – RC1635ABBF30

“Russian government’s efforts to interfere in our election is among the most serious” challenges to American democracy he (Robert Mueller) has ever seen. “They are doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign,” he warned, adding that “much more needs to be done in order to protect against these intrusions, not just by the Russians but others as well.”–The Washington Post (July 26, 2019)

**Watch PBS News Hour Video Summarizing the Mueller Report in less than 30 minutes

Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference in the 2016 U.S. Elections

Report of the Select Committee on Intelligence, United States Senate, July 25, 2019 to August 18, 2020 (Volumes 1 – 5)

US Democratic Senator from Virginia Mark Warner, vice-chairman of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks at a press conference on election security at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on March 20, 2018. From L to R, are committee members John Cornyn, James Lankford, Susan Collins, Warner, and chairman Richard Burr. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Key finding of the Senate Intelligence Committee (Volume 1): “the Russian government directed extensive activity, beginning in at least 2014 and carrying into at least 2017, against U.S. election infrastructure’ at the state and local level.” The Committee concluded that election systems in all 50 states were targeted by Russia in 2016.-The New York Times (July 25, 2019)

Key finding of the Senate Intelligence Committee (Volume 2): “In 2016, Russian operatives associated with the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) used social media to conduct an information warfare campaign designed to spread disinformation and societal division in the United States. Masquerading as Americans, these operatives used targeted advertisements, intentionally falsified news articles, self-generated content, and social media platform tools to interact with and attempt to deceive tens of millions of social media users in the United States. This campaign sought to polarize Americans on the basis of societal, ideological, and racial differences, provoked real world events, and was part of a foreign government’s covert support of Russia’s favored candidate in the U.S. presidential election .

Key finding of the Senate Intelligence Committee (Volume 5): “An exhaustive investigation led by members of President Trump’s own political party portrays his 2016 campaign as posing counterintelligence risks through its myriad contacts with Russia, eager to exploit assistance from the Kremlin and seemingly determined to conceal the full extent of its conduct from a multiyear Senate probe. The long-awaited report from the Senate Intelligence Committee contains dozens of new findings that appear to show more direct links between Trump associates and Russian intelligence, and it pierces the president’s long-standing attempts to dismiss the Kremlin’s intervention on his behalf as a hoax. Like the Mueller report before it, the nearly 1,000-page Senate document does not explicitly accuse the Trump campaign of direct collusion with Russian intelligence. But the Senate report carries particular weight because it is the first major investigation of Russian interference in 2016 to be conducted by a Republican-controlled committee and endorsed by both Republicans and Democrats. The report’s language is often stark, describing Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s receptivity to Russian outreach as a “grave counterintelligence threat” that made the campaign susceptible to “malign Russian influence.” –The Washington Post (August 18, 2020)

Senate-Intel-Report-On-Election-Interference (Volume 1)   Download

Senate-Intel-Report-On-Election-Interference (Volume 2) Download

Senate-Intel-Report-On-Election-Interference (Volume 3) Download

Senate-Intel-Report-On-Election-Interference (Volume 4)   Download

Senate-Intel-Report-On-Election-Interference. Additional Declassifications (Volume 4), July 2020 Download

Senate-Intel-Report-On-Election-Interference (Volume 5)   Download

Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections

Intelligence Community Assessment, January 6, 2017

Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of homeland security, said that Russia was attempting to influence the midterm elections. Ms. Nielsen was joined at the briefing by Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, and Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, the head of the National Security Agency. Tom Brenner for The New York Times

“This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies. It covers the motivation and scope of Moscow’s intentions regarding US elections and Moscow’s use of cyber tools and media campaigns to influence US public opinion. The assessment focuses on activities aimed at the 2016 US presidential election and draws on our understanding of previous Russian influence operations. “

“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. 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.”

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Example of a propaganda image created by Russia to interfere in US election.

Virtual Hatred: How Russia Tried to Start a Race War in the United States

William J. Aceves, Professor of Law at California Western School of Law. December 19, 2018

“During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Russian government engaged in a sophisticated strategy to influence the U.S. political system and manipulate American democracy. Throughout the campaign, Russian operatives created hundreds of fake personas on social media platforms and then posted thousands of ads and messages that sought to promote racial divisions in the United States. These were coordinated propaganda efforts. Some Facebook and Twitter posts denounced the Black Lives Matter group; other posts condemned the white nationalist movement. And some called for violence. To be clear, these were posts by fake personas created by Russian operatives. But their effects were real. The purpose of this strategy was to manipulate public opinion on racial issues and disrupt the political process.”

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“Dividing America: How Russia hacked social media and democracy” Michael Bennet

(A) primer on Russia’s use of social media to interfere with American politics before, during, and after the 2016 United States presidential election.  It contains more than one hundred images of Russian propaganda that were gathered from publicly available sources.”

“Russia’s mission was not to support specific policy objectives or outcomes.  Its purpose was and is to divide Americans.  They seek to fracture our county along every possible line—race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, country of birth, cultural mores, and political belief.”

“Russia’s tactics are well understood and have been described in greater detail in the Mueller report and elsewhere.  The Russians had their agents pretend to be on all sides of many of our most contentious issues.  They study us, becoming experts in mimicking online behavior.  They use common, if at times stilted, vernacular and well-known representations of popular culture to portray themselves as real Americans in the online communities that they infiltrate.  They then use outrage and fear to provoke and polarize, ridicule, and dehumanize.  They push their audiences to take ever-more extreme positions and treat those who disagree with contempt and disdain, unworthy of consideration or reconciliation.  Nations have used agent provocateurs to sow discontent and instability among their enemies for centuries.  The Russians have now used the Internet to take the tactic to scale.”

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