How Does Russia Interfere With Western Elections

Former FBI director James B. Comey answering questions from senators about his interactions with President Trump. During more than two hours of testimony, Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee he believed Trump had directed him to drop an FBI probe into the Republican president’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn as part of the broader Russia investigation.

Comey tells the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russian hackers were targeting hundreds of government officials. He said he first became aware of Russia-connected meddling in the late summer of 2015, around the time Trump announced he was running for president.

In one of the most gripping chapters yet of the long-running Trump/Russia saga, Comey testified under oath to the Senate intelligence committee on Capitol Hill. Bars in New York and Washington DC opened as America’s three major TV networks broadcast live coverage of the hearing, which earned comparisons with Watergate.

The former FBI director noted that there was strong evidence Russian hackers wanted to meddle with the presidential outcome. “They did it with overwhelming technical efforts, and it was an active-measures campaign driven from the top of the government,” Comey said. That includes the top-secret NSA report leaked on Monday, detailing how russian actors launched cyberattacks against an election software company, whose technology was used in eight states.

When asked why Trump suddenly fired him last month, Comey told the panel: “It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation.

Democrats highlighted one of the most stunning revelations of Comey’s testimony, his statement that Trump asked him to halt the FBI probe into Flynn’s conversations during the transition with Russia’s ambassador to Washington.

Trump critics say that any efforts by the president to hinder an FBI probe could amount to obstruction of justice. Such an offense potentially could lead to Trump being impeached by Congress, although the Republicans who control the Senate and House of Representatives have shown little appetite for such a move.

Trump managed to refrain from tweeting during the hearing but Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, said Comey’s testimony proved the president was not under any investigation and there is no evidence a single vote was changed as a result of Russian interference in last year’s election.

The Maryland Democrat said in a statement: “I hope that my colleagues who have yet to co-sponsor my legislation to create an independent, 9/11-style commission were paying attention when Mr Comey said of Russia: ‘We’re talking about a foreign government trying to shape the way we think, we vote, we act. This is a big deal. It’s not about Republicans or Democrats, they’re coming after America. They think this great experiment of ours is a threat to them and they want to tear it down. They will be back to meddle again.”

We must also add to Comey’s testimonies the dossier of Christopher Steele, a former British MI6 intelligence officer. It contains unverified allegations of misconduct and collusion between Donald Trump and his campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 US presidential election and the period preceding the election.The 35-page dossier claims that Russia is in possession of damaging or embarrassing information about Trump which could be used for purposes of blackmail to get Trump to cooperate with the Russian government.

The dossier further alleges that Trump has been cultivated and supported by Russia for at least five years with the overall aim of creating divisions between Western alliances; that Trump has extensive ties to Russia; and that there had been multiple contacts between Russian officials and people working for Trump during the campaign.On January 10, 2017, CNN reported on the existence of the dossier. Donald Trump called the dossier ” fake news ” and criticized the intelligence and media sources that published it.

The primary means used by Russia to spread the fake news is the social media. in August 2016 Clint Watts, Foreign Policy Research Institute fellow and senior fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University reported that Russian propaganda fabricated articles were popularized by social media. The Guardian wrote in November 2016 the most strident Internet promoters of Trump were paid Russian propagandists, estimating several thousand trolls involved.

Watts watched 7,000 pro-Trump social media accounts over a two-and-a-half year period, and found that such accounts denigrated critics of Russian activities in Syria and propagated falsehoods about Clinton’s health. Watts’ findings cited Russian propaganda which exacerbated criticism of Clinton and support for Trump, via social media, Internet trolls, botnets, and websites denigrating Clinton. Watts said the propaganda targeted the alt-right movement, the right wing, and fascist groups. Watts’ findings cited Russian propaganda which exacerbated criticism of Clinton and support for Trump, via social media, Internet trolls, botnets, and websites denigrating Clinton.

On January 6, 2017 US intelligence agencies released a de-classified version of the report on Russian activities. The report asserted that Russia had carried out a massive cyber operation ordered by Russian President Putin with the goal to sabotage the 2016 US elections. The agencies concluded that Putin and the Russian government tried to help Trump win the election by discrediting Hillary Clinton and portraying her negatively relative to Trump, and that Russia had conducted a multipronged cyber campaign consisting of hacking and the extensive use of social media and trolls, as well as open propaganda on Russian-controlled news platforms.

A this point the real issue and the question we have to ask ourselvesis is how we allow Russia interferes in west elections. Putin achieved the result in USA and United Kingdom but not in Holland and France. Our eyes have been opened very late but now it’s time we realize that Russia goal is to destroy western democracy and that its activity is an internazional offense

Massimiliano Fanni Canelles

Viceprimario al reparto di Accettazione ed Emergenza dell'Ospedale ¨Franz Tappeiner¨di Merano nella Südtiroler Sanitätsbetrieb – Azienda sanitaria dell'Alto Adige – da giugno 2019. Attualmente in prima linea nella gestione clinica e nell'organizzazione per l'emergenza Coronavirus. In particolare responsabile del reparto di infettivi e semi – intensiva del Pronto Soccorso dell'ospedale di Merano. 


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