As we mentioned last evening, Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in the campaign to interfere in the US election, acting on a vendetta against Clinton, according to intelligence sources with “a high level of confidence,” NBC News reports:
Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.
Putin’s objectives were multifaceted, a high-level 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 U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore,” the official said.
And Trump was aware of the attacks before election day, and was aware they were biased against Clinton, The Hill reports:
“There’s ample evidence that was known long before the election and in most cases long before October about the Trump campaign and Russia — everything from the Republican nominee himself calling on Russia to hack his opponent,” Earnest said. “It might be an indication that he was obviously aware and concluded, based on whatever facts or sources he had available to him, that Russia was involved and their involvement was having a negative impact on his opponent’s campaign.”
Earnest added that might have been a reason Trump “was encouraging them to keep doing it,” in reference to a speech Trump gave in July in which he asked Russia to reveal to find and publicly disclose emails deleted from Hillary Clinton‘s private server, a request he later called sarcastic.