Think tank linked to Putin developed plans to sway US elections

US President Donald Trump's honeymoon with Russia would appear to be over

A Russian government think tank developed plans in 2016 to damage former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's election chances, Reuters reports.

The issue was raised on Thursday at the secession of the Pobeda (Victory) Committee, which is involved in developing a unified national approach towards the promotion of patriotism and the treatment of veterans.

"Only the Russian people will choose the president's successor through democratic elections", Putin said at a Kremlin meeting.

Two new reports shed light on what led the US government to conclude that Russian Federation attempted to meddle in the USA election, and why the Federal Bureau of Investigation began looking at a possible connection to the Trump campaign.

He promised to look into the situation, saying that the deputy head of Russia's Presidential Administration, Sergey Kirienko, will be tasked with resolving the dispute.

Both documents were reportedly key to the USA government's October 2016 conclusion that Russian Federation "directed the recent compromises of e-mails from United States persons and institutions, including from US political organizations".

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One document was circulated at the highest levels of the Russian government after it was written last June, the report said, which recommended that the Kremlin and Russian-backed news outlets launch a propaganda campaign focused on convincing American voters to favor the candidate that was friendlier to Russia, the report said.

When the documents were written, the report said, Leonid Reshetnikov served as the think tank's director and previously spent 33 years in Russia's foreign intelligence service.

"This prompts the president's special role and responsibility at the current stage of Russia's history", Gorbachev said.

That campaign began after Putin asked the institute to draw up a plan for interfering with the US presidential race, said one of the sources, a former senior USA intelligence official.

"Putin had the objective in mind all along, and he asked the institute to draw him a road map", a former senior USA intelligence official told Reuters. During his speech at the New Economic School in Moscow, Page harshly criticized USA policy toward Russian Federation. Both men deny this.

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