Russia, Iran attempted to meddle in 2020 US Presidential elections, US intelligence say

Russian President Vladimir Putin likely authorized attempts to favour ex-President Donald Trump in last year’s presidential elections, US intelligence officials have revealed.

Moscow spread “misleading or unsubstantiated allegations” about the eventual winner, Joe Biden, according to a US government report.

But it said no foreign government had compromised the final results.

Russia has repeatedly denied allegations of election interference.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, outlined what it said were “influence operations” pushed by Russia as well as Iran.

It said Russian-linked individuals had spread unsubstantiated claims about President Biden ahead of the 3 November election. It also said a disinformation campaign sought to undermine confidence in the broader election process.

Some people connected to Russian intelligence also pushed anti-Biden narratives to media outlets, senior officials and allies of Mr Trump, the report said.

The report added that, while Russia had sought to boost Mr Trump’s chances of victory, Iran had launched a “multi-pronged covert influence campaign” in an effort to weaken his support.

The former president pursued a policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, imposing damaging sanctions and escalating a war of words between the two nations.

The report also concluded with “high confidence” that China, which has long been accused of cyber-espionage by Washington, chose not to “deploy interference efforts” ahead of the vote.

“China sought stability in its relationship with the United States and did not view either election outcome as being advantageous enough for China to risk blowback if caught,” it said.