In an effort to degrade President-Elect Donald Trump, The New York Times omitted key parts of the intelligence assessment of Russian meddling in the November Election.
While the assessment from U.S. spy agencies does state that “Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him,” it fails to point out the original intent of Russian meddling.
The primary goal was to “undermine the integrity of the U.S. election and to denigrate Hillary Clinton.” Those motivations are barely mentioned in a New York Times article. In fact, the “breaking news” headline is wildly misleading:
“Vladimir Putin ‘ordered an influence campaign’ aimed at helping Donald Trump win,” the breaking news headline read, according to The Daily Caller. But the intel report did not state that Putin ordered the campaign to help Trump win. Rather, the report stated that intel officials believe Russia developed a “preference” for Trump late in the campaign.
Only after it appeared that Clinton was about to win the election did the motivations of the Russians change. The core motivations were clear: “We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”
The NYT story does not quote from that line, but does heavily quote from the part of the intel report regarding the “preference” Russia developed for Trump. “We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” the intel report states.
Since the report states Putin’s original intent had nothing to do with Trump, it’s not clear what conclusions can be drawn from Russia’s eventual siding with the president-elect. If Putin wanted to denigrate Clinton, it’s reasonable to assume he would have come to “prefer” any candidate opposing her in the general election.
“When it appeared to Moscow that Secretary Clinton was likely to win the election, the Russian influence campaign began to focus more on undermining her future presidency,” the intel report adds, making it clear that even as Putin developed a preference for Trump, the underlying goal was always to hurt Clinton.
There’s also one motivation that Putin had that isn’t mentioned too much in the mainstream media: The Russians wanted Trump to win because they thought he would be a stronger ally in the fight against ISIS.
Moscow saw the election of Trump as “a way to achieve an international counterterrorism coalition” against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
That – we can be assured – is true.