Putin thinktank masterminded pro-Trump propaganda campaign - report

Russia has denied it influenced the US election

The Kremlin has rejected any allegations of interference in the US election

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Russian government thinktank overseen by Vladimir Putin created a plan to influence the 2016 US election in favour of Donald Trump.

That's according to Reuters, which cites three current and four former US officials.

The officials claim the framework for the election manipulation strategy was mapped out in two confidential documents from the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, run by former Russian foreign intelligence officials.

The first document, allegedly circulated among top government officials, reocmmended a propaganda campaign be waged on social media and Russian state news outlets to decry Barack Obama's attitude to Russia and encourage a softer approach.

The second document, reportedly drafted just a month before the election, apparently warned that Hillary Clinton was on the brink of victory and thus Russia should shift its focus away from Mr Trump and onto the issue of voter fraud, denting Clinton's credibility.

The Obama administration has claimed that Russia waged a "fake news" war in the run-up to the election, but the Kremlin has consistently denied this while Mr Trump has refuted allegations about ties to Moscow.