The doubt was persistent, the unprecedented leak of a secret document emanating from the Kremlin begins today to remove it. Russian President Vladimir Putin, his secret services and several ministers in his government appear to have devised a campaign to secure the victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. election.

During a closed-door meeting held in January that year, they laid the groundwork for this interference in the US electoral process to support the populist’s candidacy. The aim was to guarantee Moscow’s strategic objectives by stoking social unrest in the United States and weakening the negotiating position of the White House, thanks to “compromising information” held by the Russians on this presidential candidate, indicate Russian official documents revealed Thursday in broad daylight by the British daily The Guardian.

The minutes of this meeting of the National Security Council of the Kremlin, chaired by Vladimir Putin – document “No 32-04 vd”, classified secret -, indicate that Donald Trump is seen as the “most promising candidate” of the point view of the Kremlin while portraying him as an “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex”.

At the time, the former reality TV star and real estate mogul was leading the Republican nomination race for the November presidential election.

“It is absolutely necessary to use all possible force to facilitate his election to the post of American president”, indicates the document which sees in his victory a path towards the realization of Russian policies, by, among other things, the “destabilization of the system American socio-political ”.

This plan to interfere in the American democratic process is described there as an act of self-defense by the Kremlin against the sanctions imposed by Washington on Moscow from 2014, in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine orchestrated by Russia. Several Russian agencies and ministries have been mandated to participate.

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“Media viruses”

The participants in this meeting, at which, in addition to Vladimir Putin, the Minister of Defense in charge of the military secret services, the GRU, Sergei Shoigu, the head of the foreign intelligence services at the time, Mikhail Fradkovd, and the big boss of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Alexander Bortnikov, took part, agreed to exploit several weaknesses of the United States. Among them, the “political divide which is widening between the left and the right” in this country, a polarized media space and a sentiment anti-establishment which has grown under the presidency of Barack Obama.

A paragraph sums up how Russia could inject “media viruses” into the American public space in order to manipulate public opinion in certain groups. These viruses are presented as being self-sufficient and self-reproducing.

These two characteristics qualify well enough the contents carried by the conspiracy movements for several years in the United States and of which the majority aim to destabilize the democratic current and to reinforce the republican conservative ideology in the United States.

Regarding the compromising information on Donald Trump, the document remains elusive, however, but refers to material collected by the Russian authorities during a recent “unofficial” trip by the populist to Russia.

The documents reveal that after this meeting, Vladimir Poutine, by decree, created a new interministerial secret commission in order to put this strategy of interference into practice on the ground. The meeting of the Kremlin National Security Council was well held on January 22, 2016, according to official records, which however indicate the economy and Moldova as the only subjects discussed.

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The Guardian has had the authenticity of these documents validated by several independent experts who have judged a series of details they contain “correct”, as has the general tone of the Kremlin’s thought on security that is expressed. The British daily indicates that the secret services of several Western countries have had access to it for a few months. This should include those from Canada. He also qualifies this leak of document “serious and unusual” from inside the Kremlin.

In 2019, US Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller reported on this Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, without its investigation having succeeded in providing sufficient evidence of “collusion” between Russia and Donald Trump’s team. A year later, the Republican-led US Senate Intelligence Committee reported that “Russian spies have actively supported Mr. Trump’s campaign,” in part with the spread of the emails. Hillary Clinton aiming to undermine the Democratic candidate’s campaign. The Russian intelligence services are strongly suspected of having implemented and facilitated the thing.

Since 2016, Vladimir Putin has categorically denied any interference by Russia in the political and electoral life of Western democracies. The Russian hand is suspected of having sought to manipulate the results of Brexit in the UK in 2015, as well as the last European elections, in 2019.

On Thursday, the Kremlin maintained its line of defense by calling the revelations of the British daily a “four-penny novel”.

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