Newly-released U.S. intelligence has might have proven, once and for all, that there was no collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian spies to sway the 2016 election.
Senior intelligence officers says that they overhead a Russian operative brag about the plot to leak damaging emails from Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party—and that their motive was not to help Trump, but to hurt Clinton.
The operative said they planned to “cause chaos in the upcoming U.S. election” to settle a grudge Russian President Vladimir Putin had against Clinton: what he believed was an “influence operation she had run against him.”
One of the U.S. intelligence offers told Time magazine that they “didn’t really understand the context of it until much later,” but now believe the Russians were discussing hacking the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton aide John Podesta.
The officials “now realize that the officer’s boast was the first indication U.S. spies had from their sources that Russia wasn’t just hacking email accounts to collect intelligence but was also considering interfering in the vote,” according to Time.
While it’s extremely concerning that a foreign power would attempt to sway an American election, Putin’s focus on damaging Hillary Clinton could help exonerate Trump and his team—as it becomes clear they had no interest in helping his campaign win.