Russia denies think tank plotted to sway US presidential election

Russia shot down reports that a think tank controlled by President Vladimir Putin plotted to sway the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump and shake voters confidence in the electoral system, it was reported Thursday.

A report from Reuters on Wednesday said the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) had provided the framework and rationale for what US intelligence agents say was an effort by the Kremlin to interfere in the election.

The report was based documents supplied by three current and four former US officials.

RISS said the report’s effort to prove Russia tampered with the election was far-fetched.

“It seems, that in their conspiratorial consciousness the authors of this conceit did not weigh reality against their coveted fantasies, in order to once again draw attention to the theme … of Russia’s ‘participation’ in the pre-election campaign in the United States,” said RISS Director Mikhail Fradkov.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the report out of hand saying it was based on anonymous sources.

“I don’t know anything about this, I can only say that seven anonymous sources are not worth one real one,” he said.

The documents, according to Reuters, showed that Moscow created a “fake news” campaign and launched cyber attacks against the Democratic National Committee and members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff to disrupt the election.

The report said the operation intended to encourage voters to elect someone who would be more sympathetic toward Russia than the Obama administration.

Believing Clinton would win the election, the documents also revealed it would be better for Russia to end its pro-Trump propaganda and instead intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the electoral process and cast doubt on Clinton’s legitimacy.

Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations it tried to tamper with the election.

The FBI and two congressional panels have investigations into Russia’s involvement.

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