It has become conventional “wisdom” on the left that Russia wanted Trump to win in 2016, and therefore they helped his campaign. The latter belief was debunked by the Mueller report—though many on the left still believe it. The theory that Russia wanted Trump to win has also persisted, but newly declassified evidence suggesting that Russia was spreading false information about Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign “is calling into question the Obama administration’s intelligence assessment that Moscow was trying to help the Republican win the 2016 election,” according to a report from Just The News’s John Solomon.
Evidence recently declassified by DNI Richard Grenell and Attorney General Barr revealed that as early as July 2016 British intelligence operative and FBI informant Christopher Steele was involved in an FBI investigation of Trump. The same evidence showed that the FBI was repeatedly warned that Steele was susceptible to Russia disinformation and that U.S. intelligence had “concluded some of his Hillary Clinton-funded dossier’s claims about Trump were false information planted by Moscow’s intelligence services.”
Experts agreed that efforts by Russia to provide false negative information about Trump to Christopher Steele “undercut the notion that Moscow was trying to defeat Clinton and help Trump.”
It has become widely accepted that Russia’s hacking of DNC emails meant that they were trying to help then-candidate Trump win in 2016, but this newly declassified information supports the other theory—that Russia was simply trying to sow division and election discord in the United States.
Daniel Hoffman, the CIA’s former station chief in Moscow and one of America’s premier experts on Russia spy tradecraft, said he believed all along the Obama administration’s assessment was wrong and the newly declassified evidence confirms his suspicions.
“The question of whether Russia favored Clinton or Trump is superfluous,” he said. “There is no evidence Russia ever had the throw weight to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, the 2017 DNI report confirmed that.
“The reason for Russia’s interference in our electoral process was more simple. Putin hates Democrats, and he hates Republicans because what scares him the most is democracy — freedom, liberty — which continued to be an inspiration to the Russian people whom he oppresses,” Hoffman told Just the News.
Rep. Devin Nunes says he believes the Obama administration’s intelligence assessment was as flawed as the Steele dossier and the Mueller report.
Was the assessment flawed, or deliberately wrong to sabotage Trump?
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis