There is very little clarity on what exactly the Russians did to influence the campaign in favour of United States President-elect Donald Trump. The US intelligence agencies on Friday released an unclassified version of a report which supported the claims that the Russians had meddled in the US election campaign.
The 25-page report however does not give any evidence to back its assertions. The report was handed over to Trump who during an interview refused to divulge what evidence the report contained. This probably because as a president-elect, he is not authorised to reveal such information.
How did Russia influence the US presidential election campaign:
All top officials in the US are tight-lipped about the evidence they had to back these claims. However going by what the intelligence agencies have to say, it appears that Russia had launched a spear-phishing campaign.
Through this scam, the Russians are said to have tricked people into revealing their email passwords. The target audience were the think tanks and top government officials. It appears as though emails were sent out from these IDs with messages aimed at influencing the campaign.
The report however gives no clarity or exact details what exactly the modus opeandi was.
The report states that Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary (Hillary) Clinton and harm her electability and potential presidency. "We further assess Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump," the report claimed.
The report also states that Putin most likely wanted to discredit Hillary because he blames her for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and 2012 the report also states.
There has been denial by the Trump camp about Putin trying to influence the campaign. This report is open-ended and does not conclude exactly how the election campaign was influenced in favour of Trump.
The report gives Trump enough ammunition to discredit the findings of the intelligence agency as there is nothing that clearly states as to what Putin had done to influence the elections.