Russian President Vladimir Putin himself was involved in the hacking operation and use sensitive Democrat emails which were obtained by hackers to compromise the campaign of Hillary Clinton. The news was reported by NBC News on late Wednesday.
The report cites anonymous US intelligence officials saying that spies and diplomatic sources working with US allies determined with high confidence that the Russian president oversaw how the hacked emails were leaked and used in other capacities to undermine US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and disrupt the US presidential elections held this year.
The intelligence officials informed NBC news that Putin’s goals in the alleged hacking was done as a revenge against Clinton for her role in criticising Russia’s parliamentary elections held in 2011.
Western critics of Russia accused Putin at the time of rigging the election by participating in large-scale voter fraud, and Clinton, as secretary of state at the time, was a vocal member of that group. From there, Putin’s vendetta evolved into what NBC’s sources say was a mission 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 news comes after reports of a CIA evaluation which stated Russia was behind hacking the emails of US institutions for swaying the election in the favour of Republican candidate Donald Trump who eventually beat Clinton on 8th of November.
Also Read : CIA Says Russia Was Behind Donald Trump’s Win
This report sheds light on how unprecedented Russia’s recent espionage tactics are, and how they are deeply involved in determining the use of stolen data to harm the nation’s enemies.
It’s widely believed that hackers related to the Russian government were responsible both for hacking the Democratic National Committee and the email account of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta. This is also understood to have been an effort to harm Clinton’s chances of victory. However, whether Russia actively did so in an effort to promote President-elect Donald Trump is a controversial topic disputed in the intelligence community.
In preparation for possible retaliation, US intelligence agencies have intensified probing of Putin’s personal wealth, NBC said, citing US officials.
Top US lawmakers have asked for a official congressional investigation behind the hacking.