Russia gaining more influence in world as Trump's chaos hampers US efforts: leaked Pentagon report
President Donald Trump's manner with Russian leader Vladimir Putin was in contrast to the anger he flashed at NATO allies. (AFP / Brendan Smialowski)

According to an internal report created by the Pentagon, Russia has seen its worldwide influence grow since Donald Trump became president, reports Politico.

Noting that the report does not specifically single out the president, Politico described the document as asserting, "The U.S. is still underestimating the scope of Russia's aggression, which includes the use of propaganda and disinformation to sway public opinion across Europe, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America. The study also points to the dangers of a growing alignment between Russia and China, which share a fear of the United States' international alliances and an affinity for 'authoritarian stability.'"

Because of the instability in the U.S. -- with Trump being investigated over his Russia connections by Democrats while Republicans balk at criticizing the president -- the report states that Russian officials are taking advantage of the situation.

"The study doesn't offer any criticisms of Trump, but it comes amid continued chaffing by security hawks in both parties who have objected to the president's repeated slights at U.S. alliances in Europe and Asia, public affection for authoritarian leaders like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, and his habit of scoffing at the evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 election," Politico reports.

Natalia Arno, president of the Free Russia Foundation, agreed with the Pentagon officials saying, ""Russia is attacking Western institutions in ways more shrewd and strategically discreet than many realize. The attacks may seem more subtle and craftier, but they are every bit as destructive as governments are influenced, laws are changed, legal decisions are undermined, law enforcement is thwarted and military intervention is disguised."

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