Russia fails to disrupt the outcome of the presidential election


Courtesy of the Associated Press

Despite Russia’s attempts to get Trump re-elected, Joe Biden was announced as the presumptive winner of the election on Saturday.

Now that the electoral college squarely places Joe Biden as the President-elect, the media is focusing on Trump’s claims that the vote tallying was somehow fraudulent. Yet, only a few short weeks ago, US intelligence found that a group of computer hackers sanctioned by Russia attempted to interfere with the U.S. Presidential election in an effort to get President Donald Trump re-elected. Some voting registration information had been obtained by Russia, and this information could have been used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that Russia hoped will cause confusion and undermine voters’ confidence.

Russia similarly tried to interfere with the U.S. election in 2016. A CIA assessment reported, “We assess that President Vladimir Putin and the senior-most Russian officials are aware of and probably directing Russia’s influence operations aimed at denigrating the former U.S Vice President, Joe Biden, and fueling public discord ahead of the U.S. election in November.”

The Treasury Department had said publicly that Andre Derkach, a friend of Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Guiliani, is a Russian agent. The CIA has been working with the National Security Administration and the FBI and believes that this Russian influence campaign, working through this Ukrainian lawmaker, is connected to Putin. American investigators believe that Derkach used U.S. politicians, U.S. lawmakers, prominent figures close to the President (such as Guiliani), and media organizations, to amplify this disinformation and denigrate Joe Biden.

“Derkach and other Russian agents employ manipulation and deceit to attempt to influence elections in the United States and elsewhere around the world.” Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin said. Bill Evanina, the top U.S. counterintelligence official said, “Derkach is spreading claims about corruption, including through publicizing leaked phone calls to undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party.”

Fortunately for the integrity of the election, any plans that Russia may have executed fell short this time.