- “Unlike Donald Trump, I do not consider Vladimir Putin a good friend,” Sen. Sanders said.
- Many analysts believe that, should Bernie Sanders win the Democratic presidential nomination, it would be likely to help Trump.
- According to U.S. intelligence, Russia manipulated the 2016 election, and is doing so again.
Following a revelation by The Washington Post, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who so far leads the Democratic race for the US presidency, says he was informed by US intelligence services about Moscow’s alleged support for his campaign. The independent U.S. Senator noted that the services briefed him about Russian interference in the coming 2020 presidential elections, after the Washington Post newspaper reported on Moscow’s alleged support for his candidacy.
Sen. Sanders, in reaction, thus said that Russia is trying to “create chaos” and “sow hate in the United States.” According to the Post, the Vermont Senator was informed by the American intelligence services, along with other congressmen, about Moscow’s interference in the electoral process in his favor. The real objective, however, was of promoting the re-election of Republican President Donald Trump.
So far leading in his party’s primaries and caucuses, Sanders confirmed the information in the Washington Post in a statement released on Friday, on the eve of the Democratic primaries in Nevada. “I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president,” Sanders said. “My message to Putin is clear: stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do,” he continued.
“In 2016, Russia used internet propaganda to sow division in our country, and my understanding is that they are doing it again in 2020. Some of the ugly stuff on the internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters,”
added the Senator.
“Unlike Donald Trump, I do not consider Vladimir Putin a good friend,” he added. “He is an autocratic thug who is attempting to destroy democracy and crush dissent in Russia. Let’s be clear, the Russians want to undermine American democracy by dividing us up and, unlike the current president, I stand firmly against their efforts, and any other foreign power that wants to interfere in our election.”
Many analysts believe that, should Bernie Sanders win the Democratic presidential nomination, it would be likely to help Trump, because his leftist program would be less likely to bring voters together than other candidates. Sanders himself suggested that Russia may be behind accounts of Internet users who say they support him by spreading aggressive messages. The senator told reporters that Russia is trying to “create chaos” and “sow hate in the United States”.
American officials believe that Russia tried to support Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries against his rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in order to promote a division in American society and ultimately help Republican candidate Trump. Clinton, however, went on to win the Democratic primaries, and was later defeated by Trump in the presidential election.
According to U.S. intelligence, Russia manipulated the 2016 presidential election campaign, mainly through social media campaigns like Facebook. The House of Representatives Intelligence Committee was informed this week that Russian interference is underway in favor of the candidacy of President Donald Trump’s reelection. The leak of that information angered Trump and prompted him to fire then-director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire. His replacement, as nominated by Trump, is the current ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell.
Also this month, FBI director Christopher Wray, heard on the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee, said Russia is engaged in an “information war” to interfere in the November elections, based on covered social media campaigns to divide the American electorate.