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Putin behind US election hack, say officials

WASHINGTON: Intelligence officials in the United States believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in the alleged campaign to influence the US presidential election, US media reported on Thursday.

Senior intelligence officials told NBC News that President Putin “personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used”.

The news channel claimed that two of these officials had direct access to the information collected by US intelligence about this matter.

“The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for US allies … the US has solid information tying Putin to the operation, the intelligence officials say … their use of the term ‘high confidence’ implies that the intelligence is nearly incontrovertible,” NBC News reported.

The channel’s scoop comes days after The Washington Post reported that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) believes Russia sought to influence the election and help secure Donald Trump’s victory.

Unfazed by the new revelation, Mr Trump asked in a tweet: “If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?”

Several media outlets, however, noted that intelligence talked about the Russian hacking during the election campaign as well, but since the entire nation was focused on the election, the news did not get the attention it deserved.

“Mr Putin’s objectives were multifaceted,” an intelligence source told NBC News. “What began as a ‘vendetta’ against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn’t depend on the US,” the official said.

The Kremlin, however, dismissed the report as ‘nonsense.’ “I was astonished when I saw it,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei.

courtesy : dawn news

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