Russian Interference in 2016 Election for Trump


Did Russia attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump?

Big Picture
Intelligence Community Assessment, Jan 2017
  • Prepared by the CIA, FBI, and NSA
  • January 2017
  • Concluded that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump
  • “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. We have high confidence in these judgments.” (Page ii)
  • “We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.” Page ii
  • “Moscow’s approach evolved over the course of the campaign based on Russia’s understanding of the electoral prospects of the two main candidates. 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.” (Page ii)
Report on Active Measures, House Committee on Intelligence, Mar 2018
  • Prepared by House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
  • March 2018
  • Concluded that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 but drew no conclusion on whether Russia favored Trump
  • Summary Table of Findings
    • Chapter 2 Russia Attacks the United States (page 4)
      • Finding #10: Russian intelligence leveraged social media in an attempt to sow social discord and to undermine the US electoral process.
    • Chapter 3 America Reacts (page 5)
      • Finding #15: The majority of the Intelligence Community Assessment judgments on Russia’s election activities employed proper analytic tradecraft.
      • Finding #16: The Intelligence Community Assessment judgments on Putin’s strategic intentions did not employ proper analytic tradecraft.
  • NYT Republicans on House Intelligence Panel Absolve Trump Campaign in Russian Meddling
    • The Republicans accused the intelligence agencies of failing to use “proper analytic tradecraft” as they crafted a key conclusion of a January 2017 assessment of the Russian campaign. In the portion in question, intelligence officials had concluded that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia wanted to harm Mrs. Clinton and aid Mr. Trump. The Republican report does not explicitly contest that conclusion but implies that the Russians’ primary intention was to sow discord, not to help Mr. Trump.
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Committee Findings on the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment
  • Prepared by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
  • July 2018
  • Concluded that the Intelligence Community Assessment produced by the CIA, NSA, and FBI was a “sound intelligence product”
  • “The Committee has concluded an in-depth review of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) produced by CIA, NSA, and FBI in January of 2017 on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election
  • Finally, the Committee notes that, as is the case with all intelligence questions, information continues to be gathered and analyzed.  The Committee believes the conclusions of the ICA are sound, and notes that collection and analysis subsequent to the ICA’s publication continue to reinforce its assessments. The Committee will remain vigilant in its oversight of the ongoing challenges presented by foreign nations attempting to secretly influence U.S. affairs.”
Select Committee on Intelligence United States Senate on Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election (2019-2020)
Mueller Report, Volume I, Mar 2019
  • Prepared by the Special Prosecutor
  • March 2019
  • Concluded that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump

“The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion”

“As set forth in detail in this report, the Special Counsel’s investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election principally through two operations. 

  • First, a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. 
  • Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working on the Clinton Campaign and then released stolen documents. 
  • The investigation also identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign. Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” (Volume 1, Pages 1-2)