Disinfo: Russia never intervened in US elections in 2016

Summary

Russian hackers did not interfere in the US presidential elections in 2016 when Donald Trump was elected nor in 2020 when Joe Biden won over Donald Trump. Claims about an alleged “Russian interference” only aim to destroy bilateral relations between Russia and the United States.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation denying Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Available evidence suggests that Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential poll - which was specifically aimed at damaging Clinton's campaign and aid her opponent - did affect the vote, particularly in three critical swing states where Trump's victory margins were the thinnest. In the US, Russian-linked posts reached 126 million Facebook users, whilst 29 million saw the content "directly".

Available evidence suggests that Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential poll - which was specifically aimed(opens in a new tab) to damage Clinton's campaign and aid her opponent - did affect the outcome(opens in a new tab) of the vote, particularly in three critical swing states(opens in a new tab) where Trump's victory margins were the thinnest. In addition, the US Justice Department has charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic officials in the 2016 US elections(opens in a new tab). Previously, 13 Russian citizens as well as the Internet Research Agency(opens in a new tab), Concord Management and Concord Catering(opens in a new tab) had been charged with interfering(opens in a new tab) with the US political system.

Robert Mueller's investigation also concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Mueller's report determined that there were "two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election". The first involved attempts by the Internet Research Agency to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the US to sow social discord, with the aim of interfering with the election. The second involved the Russian government's efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election.

Find more disinformation cases on this issue here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 225
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/12/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Greek
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Russia
  • Keywords: US Presidential Election 2020, election meddling, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Elections
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“Deep State” in the US deletes social media posts that don't suit it

The “Deep State” governing the United States had at one point underestimated the importance of Twitter and social media in general, in influencing American citizens themselves.

After [Donald] Trump won, the Deep State rushed to correct this mistake, and this gap was closed in time for the last US elections. The government and intelligence agencies rushed to take steps to censor social media and reduce “unwanted” information.

…messages and videos that do not fit with the social media administration are deleted, or at the very least, flagged as untrue, or unverified. President Trump’s speeches became a perfect example of this. It is even possible to prevent entire news agencies from accessing these social networks if the information they provide is not suitable for the administration of these networks.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation about social media companies and censorship and the presence of a "Deep State".

There is no basis to the claims that social media companies such as Twitter, Facebook or Google have engaged in censorship, or restricting US President Donald Trump or his supporters. The claims about the global elite secretly ruling the world, and specifically, a so-called ‘deep state’ in the United State that promotes wars or controls the US are also not supported with evidence.

Sweden attempts to use the “Russian threat” to avoid attention to the country’s failure on fighting COVID-19

The Swedish parliament has decided to enlarge the military budget with 40 percent. The main argument for this is Stockholm’s concern with the “Russian threat” in the Baltic Sea.

/…/

When the whole world entered to quarantine, the Swedish authorities decided not to do so. Now they are reaping the harvest of what they have sown – enormous social, medical and economical problems.

But the Swedish media keeps quiet on this and attempts to show a pretty face. In order not to let the public know about the country’s internal problems, the media evokes different kinds of mythical threats, sacrificing enormous amounts of money to fortify positions of NATO at our borders. Why recognise your own mistakes, when you can find an external enemy and blame everything on him?

Disproof

The Parliament of Sweden has decided to significantly increase budget spendings into “total defence” - to civil contingency planning, civil defence - and military. This decision is based partly from the experiences of Russia’s aggressions against Georgia in 2008, the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 and Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine in Donbas.

Sweden is not a member of NATO and needs to rely on its own resources for repelling aggression and handling crises.

The Ukrainian destabilisation “handbook” is not adequate for Belarus

The Ukrainian “handbook” is not adequate for Belarus. Some experts, especially from Ukraine, think that everything that is happening now in Belarus is a complete analogy of the 2013-2014 events in Ukraine. All the moves are planned and you can spite them following the dogmas already known by heart. Yes, the pro-Western Russophobic opposition created the protests, and is being aided from Warsaw, Vilnius, London, Washington, Berlin, etc. There is only one crucial difference: Lukashenko showed more political will than Yanukovich.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying popular protests in Ukraine and Belarus as Western-led “colour revolutions” in order to deprive them of any legitimacy.

Contrary to the claim, massive mobilisations against the governments of Ukraine in 2013 and of Belarus in 2020 were not destabilisation operations orchestrated from abroad. The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU as a result of Russian pressure. Protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus on the 9th of August, which were not monitored by independent experts, and are largely considered fraudulent by both international observers and a large part of the Belarusian society.