With the increasing allegations over Russia's interference in the United States elections in 2020 after similar reports surfaced back in the 2016 elections, US President Donald Trump has dismissed them yet again. On February 20, reports suggested that intelligence officials cautioned the lawmakers over Kremlin's meddling in the US polls to support Trump, however, on February 21, POTUS called it “another misinformation campaign”. Trump further placed the blame the reports on “Do Nothing Democrats” while accusing them of organising “Hoax number 7”.
Another misinformation campaign is being launched by Democrats in Congress saying that Russia prefers me to any of the Do Nothing Democrat candidates who still have been unable to, after two weeks, count their votes in Iowa. Hoax number 7!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2020
According to an international news agency, three intelligence officials who are familiar with the closed-door briefing have cautioned the lawmakers. This comes as Senate acquitted Trump of all articles of impeachment on charges; 'obstruction to Congress' and 'abuse of power'. Moreover, the recent revelation further raises questions on the integrity of presidential campaign for Trump and whether the officials are taking essential steps to combat the kind of Russian interference it was seen in the US elections of 2016.
The officials had asked for anonymity as it was the matter of sensitive intelligence. The officials said on February 20 that the briefing among them last week focussed mainly on Russia's efforts to influence the 2020 US elections and sow discord in the country's electorate. This warning by officials which was first reported by the New York Times and The Washington Post has been denied by Moscow.
Russian spokesperson Dmitry Peskov called the reports of Kremlin's meddling in US elections as “paranoid announcements” on February 21. He further added that “unfortunately” there will be “more and more” such reports as it gets closer to elections. However, according to Peskov, “they have nothing to do with the truth”.
A senior administration official told an international news agency that the news about intelligence officials warning lawmakers over Russia's influence has angered Trump. The US President who stepping-up his reelection campaign has also complained that the Democrats would use the information against him. Over the course of the leadership in the White House, Trump has time and again refused the assessment by the intelligence community of Russia's interference in 2016. However, reportedly, this official also talked on the condition of anonymity about the private meeting.
Meanwhile House of Representatives speaker, Nancy Pelosi tweeted that, “American voters should decide American elections — not Vladimir Putin. All Members of Congress should condemn the President’s reported efforts to dismiss threats to the integrity of our democracy & to politicize our intel community.”