Intelligence Report Reveals Putin Ordered 'Influence Campaign' With 'Clear Preference' for Trump

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence's declassified 25-page report on alleged Russian hacking has been released.

Donald Trump

Image via Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified version of its report on the alleged Russian hacking Friday, concluding Russian President Vladimir Putin "ordered an influence campaign" in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Putin and the Russian government's efforts, the report states, included attempts at discrediting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's electability. Furthermore, American intelligence officials say Putin "developed a clear preference" for Trump during the alleged cyber operation.

"Moscow's approach evolved over the course of the campaign based on Russia’s understanding of the electoral prospects of the two main candidates," the report, entitled Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, states. "When it appeared to Moscow that Secretary Clinton was likely to win the election, the Russian influence campaign began to focus more on undermining her future presidency."

Trump was briefed by intelligence agencies on Friday ahead of the declassified report's public release. In a post-briefing statement to the press, Trump called the meeting "constructive" but insisted the alleged tampering had no effect on the election. Just three hours before the briefing, Trump spoke with the New York Times by phone and called the Russian hacking claims a "political witch hunt."

Trump has instead been more concerned, at least publicly, with such pressing policy issues as:

Russia may continue to use similar tactics in future elections, Friday's report concluded. "We assess Moscow will apply lessons from Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the U.S. presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against U.S. allies and their election processes," the reports. Read the full 25-page document here.

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