Russia launched a campaign for then-President Donald Trump in the US presidential election in November 2020, seeking to hurt his rival Joe Biden and sow discord in the country. This is what the US intelligence says.
The organization said in a report published Tuesday by the office of Avril Haines, the coordinator of the secret services, that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government “approved and legalized” the attempts to influence. The Russian influence campaign has reportedly relied on its secret services, state media, internet trolls, and its allies in Ukraine.
One of Moscow’s main strategies was to accuse Biden and his family of corruption in relation to Ukraine. And agents from Russia have also targeted Americans linked to the Trump administration to launch an investigation against Biden. There have also been attempts to manipulate Trump administration officials and the media in this direction.
Russia focused on disinformation in 2020, but unlike the 2016 elections, it did not attempt to directly undermine the electoral infrastructure. Moscow wanted to influence the perceptions of the candidates, “undermine confidence in the American electoral system,” and strengthen the rift among the people in the United States. And Russia considered Biden’s victory “harmful to Russian interests.”
On the other hand, China tried not to influence the elections. According to the report, Iran also tried to influence the polls. Tehran wanted to reduce the chance of Trump’s re-election and to stir divisions in American society.