Senior intelligence officials strongly believe that Vladimir Putin directly influenced the U.S. election.
During much of his face-off with Hillary Clinton, there were allegations of shady business going on between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now, U.S. intelligence officials have suggested that Putin was directly involved in hacking into the emails of the Democratic Party with the intent of undermining Clinton's campaign and thus influencing the outcome of the U.S. election, reports NBC News.
The officials claim "with a high level of confidence" -- implying that the intelligence is "nearly incontrovertible" -- that Putin was personally involved in the leaking of the hacked emails and how the information was used to affect the American election.
Putin's intent with the cyber attack apparently began as a clear attempt to threaten Clinton's campaign, and to seek revenge for her meddling in his affairs while she was Secretary of State, such as when she called for an investigation on his party during the Russian parliamentary elections of 2011. Eventually, however, his primary motive with the hacking was to reveal the corruption of American politics, say the U.S. officials, and to weaken the U.S.'s ties with certain allies as well as the country's reputation as a global leader.
Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin's spokesman, has called the NBC report "laughable nonsense," reports the AP.
Trump has also responded to the report via Twitter, implying that the officials alleging Putin's role in his victory are simply upset that their preferred candidate did not win.