According to a new report, U.S. intelligence officers heard a Russian military intelligence officer boasting about his organisation readying to target Hillary Clinton in May, 2016.
The Russian officer told a colleague that GRU would cause chaos in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to a Time report on Thursday. The official apparently explained that the intelligence agency’s plan was in order to seek vengeance for Russian president Vladimir Putin’s belief that Hillary Clinton conducted an influence campaign against him when she was Secretary of State.
According to senior U.S. intelligence officials, the U.S. spies transcribed the conversation and sent it to their headquarters for analysis.
“We didn’t really understand the context of it until much later,” a senior U.S. intelligence official told Time, referring to the fact that it was not until a while later that the results of the Russian meddling campaign became known.
Vladimir Putin pinned blame for protests which erupted in more than 70 cities in 2011 on Hillary Clinton, claiming that the former Secretary of State had sent “a signal” to protesters and that the U.S. State Department had had an active role in fueling the unrest. For its part, the State Department said that it had only funded pro-democracy entities.
The Russian efforts are the subject of multiple investigations in the U.S. with intelligence agencies and the U.S. Congress actively probing into all aspects of the meddling, including whether there was any collusion or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.