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Russian interference in the 2016 united states elections

The meaning of «russian interference in the 2016 united states elections»

The Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with the goals of harming the campaign of Hillary Clinton, boosting the candidacy of Donald Trump, and increasing political and social discord in the United States. According to the U.S. intelligence community, the operation—code named Project Lakhta[1][2]—was ordered directly by Russian President Vladimir Putin.[3][4] The Special Counsel's report, made public in April 2019, examined numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials but concluded that there was insufficient evidence to bring any conspiracy or coordination charges against Trump or his associates.

The Internet Research Agency (IRA), based in Saint Petersburg, Russia and described as a troll farm, created thousands of social media accounts that purported to be Americans supporting radical political groups and planned or promoted events in support of Trump and against Clinton. They reached millions of social media users between 2013 and 2017. Fabricated articles and disinformation were spread from Russian government-controlled media, and promoted on social media. Additionally, computer hackers affiliated with the Russian military intelligence service (GRU) infiltrated information systems of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and Clinton campaign officials, notably chairman John Podesta, and publicly released stolen files and emails through DCLeaks, Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks during the election campaign. Several individuals connected to Russia contacted various Trump campaign associates, offering business opportunities to the Trump Organization and proffering damaging information on Clinton. Russian government officials have denied involvement in any of the hacks or leaks.

Russian interference activities triggered strong statements from United States intelligence agencies, a direct warning by then-U.S. President Barack Obama to Russian President Vladimir Putin, renewed economic sanctions against Russia, and closures of Russian diplomatic facilities and expulsion of their staff. The Senate and House Intelligence Committees conducted their own investigations into the matter. Trump denied the interference had occurred, contending that it was a "hoax" perpetrated by the Democratic Party to explain Clinton's loss.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened the Crossfire Hurricane investigation of Russian interference in July 2016, including a special focus on links between Trump associates and Russian officials and suspected coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Russian attempts to interfere in the election were first disclosed publicly by members of the United States Congress in September 2016, confirmed by US intelligence agencies in October 2016, and further detailed by the Director of National Intelligence office in January 2017. The dismissal of James Comey, the FBI director, in May 2017, was partly because of Comey's investigation of the Russian interference.

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