RUSSIA-US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: KREMLIN CONCERN THAT POLITICAL FALLOUT FROM DNC E-MAIL HACKING AFFAIR SPIRALLING OUT OF CONTROL
- Kremlin concerned that political fallout from DNC e-mail hacking operation is spiraling out of control. Extreme nervousness among TRUMP’s associates as result of negative media attention/accusations
- Russians meanwhile keen to cool situation and maintain ‘plausible deniability’ of existing/ongoing pro-TRUMP and anti-CLINTON operations. Therefore unlikely to be any ratcheting up offensive plays in immediate future
- Source close to TRUMP campaign however confirms regular exchange with Kremlin has existed for at least 8 years, including intelligence fed back to Russia on oligarchs’ activities in US
- Russians apparently have promised not to use ‘kompromat’ they hold on TRUMP as leverage, given high levels of voluntary co-operation forthcoming from his team
- Speaking in confidence to a trusted associate in late July 2016, a Russian émigré figure close to the Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP’s campaign team commented on the fallout from publicity surrounding the Democratic National Committee (DNC) e-mail hacking scandal. The émigré said there was a high level of anxiety within the TRUMP team as a result of various accusations levelled against them and indications from the Kremlin that President PUTIN and others in the leadership thought things had gone too far now and risked spiralling out of control.
- Continuing on this theme, the émigré associate of TRUMP opined that the Kremlin wanted the situation to calm but for ‘plausible deniability’ to be maintained concerning its (extensive) pro-TRUMP and anti-CLINTON operations. S/he therefore judged that it was unlikely these would be ratcheted up, at least for the time being.
- However, in terms of established operational liaison between the TRUMP team and the Kremlin, the emigre confirmed that an intelligence exchange had been running between them for at least 8 years. Within this context PUTIN’s priority requirement had been for intelligence on the activities, business and otherwise, in the US of leading Russian oligarchs and their families. TRUMP and his associates duly had obtained and supplied the Kremlin with this information.
- Finally, the émigré said s/he understood the Kremlin had more intelligence on CLINTON and her campaign but he did not know the details or when or if it would be released. As far as ‘kompromat’ (compromising information) on TRUMP were concerned, although there was plenty of this, he understood the Kremlin had given its word that it would not be deployed against the Republican presidential candidate given how helpful and co-operative his team had been over several years, and particularly of late.
30 July 2016