Putin ‘ordered spy plot to back “mentally unstable” Donald Trump in 2016 election, documents show

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Vladimir Putin personally ordered a top secret spy operation to help a ‘mentally unstable’ Donald Trump win the 2016 election, according to documents the left-leaning Guardian newspaper says were leaked from the Kremlin.

The Russian strongman held a meeting with his spy chiefs and senior ministers in January 2016 where they agreed to support Trump – who was then fighting to be the Republican nominee – in order to achieve Moscow’s objectives of sowing ‘social turmoil’ in the US and weakening the American presidency, the papers suggest.

A decree bearing Putin’s signature ordered Russia‘s three agencies to find practical ways to support the then-Republican frontrunner, according to The Guardian who have seen the documents, recommending the use ‘all possible force’ to ensure that Trump became the 45th president of the United States. 

Helping him secure victory ‘will definitely lead to the destabilization of the US’s sociopolitical system’, the report predicts. 

The left-leaning British newspaper doesn’t say where the documents came from or how they have been authenticated and The Kremlin has rejected their authenticity. And Putin’s spokesman Dmitri Peskov dismissed the claims, saying it was a ‘great pulp fiction’. 

The Guardian showed the leaked documents from the January 22 meeting to Western spy agencies who carefully examined them and believe them to be genuine. Independent experts say the tone of the papers is consistent with the Kremlin’s style. 

U.S. intelligence has long assessed the Russia interfered in the 2016 election and had a preference for Trump – but has never identified a single meeting where key players all gathered in a room to forge a strategy which would then be memorialized on paper.

A bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report released last April said Putin ‘approved and directed aspects’ of Russia’s interference campaign.

‘The Committee found that specific intelligence as well as open source assessments support the assessment that President Putin approved and directed aspects of this influence campaign,’ the report said.

In January of 2016, Trump was one of 12 GOP contenders fighting it out for the Republican nomination for president. While he was doing well in the polls, and leading his rivals in January, there hadn’t yet been a primary contest yet (the Iowa caucuses, the first in the nation, took place on February 1). 

Many observers at the time were not even sure Trump’s run was serious, or whether it was an effort designed in part to gain publicity and boost his golf, real estate, and branding business. U.S. opinion leaders in an environment the Kremlin monitors closely were arguing that a more traditional candidate like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush might ultimately walk away with the nomination. 

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton was fighting it out with Bernie Sanders for her party’s nomination. 

The Kremlin papers, which have not been verified by DailyMail.com, include a psychological assessment of Trump, describing him as an ‘impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex’. 

The documents also allude to compromising material the Kremlin held on the New York business tycoon turned reality star from an earlier visit to Moscow.

They refer to ‘certain events’ during the reality star’s trips to Moscow but offer no details. But the document references an appendix, and the Guardian reports it is ‘unclear’ what the appendix contains.

The line evokes unverified information in the salacious dossier by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steel about Trump’s alleged conduct in a Moscow hotel room during the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant. 

Russian-language documents that the Guardian reports were leaked from the Kremlin purport to show a January, 2016 meeting where Russian President Vladimir Putin and top lieutenants forged a plan to support Donald Trump 

The documents purport to come from a January 2016 meetings, where ministers agreed to support Donald Trump, who was deemed 'mentally unstable,' in order to sow 'social turmoil' in the U.S.

The documents purport to come from a January 2016 meetings, where ministers agreed to support Donald Trump, who was deemed 'mentally unstable,' in order to sow 'social turmoil' in the U.S.

The documents purport to come from a January 2016 meetings, where ministers agreed to support Donald Trump, who was deemed ‘mentally unstable,’ in order to sow ‘social turmoil’ in the U.S.

Putin holds a meeting with his security council on January 22, 2016, the date of the alleged discussions about helping Trump

Putin holds a meeting with his security council on January 22, 2016, the date of the alleged discussions about helping Trump

Putin holds a meeting with his security council on January 22, 2016, the date of the alleged discussions about helping Trump

Donald Trump and his then wife Ivana visit Palace Square in St. Petersburg in July 1987

Donald Trump and his then wife Ivana visit Palace Square in St. Petersburg in July 1987

Donald Trump and his then wife Ivana visit Palace Square in St. Petersburg in July 1987

The Guardian showed the leaked documents from the January 22 meeting to Western spy agencies who carefully examined them and believe them to be genuine. Independent experts say the tone of the papers is consistent with the Kremlin’s style. 

The proposition of a documented meeting on Trump also came in for criticism online including from former Guardian journalist and Intercept founder Glenn Greenwald. 

He tweeted in reference to ‘fabricated stories’ at his former publication, which he said ‘needs to stimulate its subscribers,’ then chastised the U.S. media for treating it ‘as credible no matter how many times it turns out to be a fraud?’ 

DailyMail.com has contacted The Guardian asking for more information about the authenticity of the documents. Dailymail.com also has also asked Twitter and Facebook whether they will take down or limit sharing of the story base on questions over the origins of the supposed report. The story was still circulating on their platforms on Thursday morning despite The Guardian saying the documents ‘appear’ to be from The Kremlin and without explaining from where they were obtained.

In October 2020, Twitter and Facebook limited articles about Hunter Biden’s laptop from their feeds because the material had allegedly been ‘hacked’. 

 

The document: ‘Report no 32-04’ calls Trump ‘most promising candidate’ for Russia 

The report, named ‘No 32-04 vd’ is classified as secret and says Trump is the ‘most promising candidate’ for Russia. 

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in his investigation of Russia’s role in the presidential contest, concluded the Russian government ‘interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.’ 

His report found the Russians used a social media campaign to boost Trump and disparage Clinton during the general election and that the Russian military intelligence agency GRU hacked into email accounts owned by volunteers and employees of the Clinton presidential campaign.

The documents outlined in Thursday’s report is not the first mention of the Russians having kompromat on Trump. 

 

Echoes of Miss Universe 2013 and ‘dossier’ allegations denied by Trump

The infamous Steele dossier contained allegations about Trump’s Russia ties as well as unverified information about his alleged conduct in a Moscow hotel room during the Miss Universe Pageant in 2013.

Written by ex-British spy Christopher Steele, the document outlines the incident, which allegedly took place in the Ritz-Carlton’s presidential suite. 

Because Barack and Michelle Obama, whom Trump despised, had stayed in that room, Trump allegedly hired ‘a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show [on the bed] in front of him’. 

The act, which Trump has vehemently denied, was allegedly recorded using microphones and cameras by the Russian secret service (FSB) to ensure he bowed to the Kremlin’s wishes. 

Steele compiled the 35-page dossier between June and December, 2016, for a firm that had ties to the Democratic National Committee.

Buzzfeed published the dossier in January of 2017, before Trump took office. But intelligence officials knew of its existence long before it became public. 

Then FBI director James Comey briefed then President Barack Obama on its contents and Comey later briefed Trump on its existence at Trump Tower during the transition. 

In his memoir, Comey wrote Trump interrupted him as he described the material in the dossier.

He ‘strongly denied the allegations, asking — rhetorically, I assumed — whether he seemed like a guy who needed the service of prostitutes.’

The unverified Steele dossier memos referenced Trump's alleged conduct during the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow in 2013

The unverified Steele dossier memos referenced Trump's alleged conduct during the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow in 2013

The unverified Steele dossier memos referenced Trump’s alleged conduct during the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow in 2013

Putin's expert department prepared a report recommending that he use 'all possible force' to ensure a Trump win in the November election of 2016

Putin's expert department prepared a report recommending that he use 'all possible force' to ensure a Trump win in the November election of 2016

Putin’s expert department prepared a report recommending that he use ‘all possible force’ to ensure a Trump win in the November election of 2016

Then President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July 2018

Then President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July 2018

Then President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July 2018

Trump’s 1987 Moscow visit on real estate trip 

 

Trump made his first visit to Russia in 1987 when he was a New York real estate tycoon married to his first wife Ivana, a model from Czechoslovakia, which was, at the time, a communist country. 

He made subsequent visits and had, at one point, pursued building a Trump Tower in Moscow. 

As president, Trump took a softer stance on Russia than other holders of the Oval Office.

At a controversial press conference in Helsinki with Putin in July 2018, Trump declined to support the US government’s assessment that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

‘He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be,’ Trump said of Putin, who stood by his side.

Trump later had to walk back his comments, which sparked outrage in the United States on both sides of the political aisle. 

As for Thursday’s newly published information, the meeting led by Putin with his security officials and spy chiefs was definitely held in the Kremlin on the date of the alleged report.

 

January meeting included defense minister Shoigu and intel chief – but Kremlin said it was about Moldova and the economy

Present were the then prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, defense minister Sergei Shoigu who is also in charge of the GRU foreign military intelligence agency, head of the SVR intelligence service Mikhail Fradkov, FSB boss Alexander Bortnikov and its former director Nikolai Patrushev.

A press release said the meeting covered the economy and Moldova.   

But the leaked documents suggest the covert purpose of the discussions was the confidential plans to aid Trump in his election bid. 

Putin’s expert department, which provides the president with analytical reports, often based on foreign intelligence, is believed to be behind the documents allegedly written by Vladimir Symonenko.

On January 14, 2016, Symonenko circulated a three-page executive report of his team’s findings.

Two days later, Putin signed an order instructing his foreign policy chief Alexander Manzhosin to gather the national security council to further study the document.

It is not known what they discussed in the meeting on January 22 but Putin and his officials signed off a multi-agency plan to interfere in the US democratic process, the leaked documents suggest. 

 

Plan to insert ‘media viruses’ into U.S. information stream 

The papers identify US weaknesses including a deepening political gulf, an increasing anti-establishment sentiment and the media.  

Among the methods considered by the security council include inserting ‘media viruses’ into US public life which could affect the public mood, the documents suggest.

After the meeting, Putin issued a decree to set up a secret new interdepartmental commission to carry out the goals of the report as soon as possible, a separate leaked documents reveals. 

Each spy agency was given a rule, with GRU chief Shoigu as the head of the new body, responsible for collecting information and ‘preparing measures to act on the information environment of the object’.

It is believed the command refers to hacking US targets identified by SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service. 

The SVR was told to gather new information while the FSB was ordered to carry out counter-intelligence. 

The spy chiefs were given just one week to return with concrete proposals.

Putin has repeatedly denied claims that he has interfered in Western democracy. 

Weeks after the meeting, the Democratic National Committee was hacked with thousands of emails leaked in an attack believed to have been carried out by the GRU.  

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