Russian president Vladimir Putin is “probably directing” a disinformation campaign against Joe Biden ahead of November’s election, according to a top-secret CIA assessment.
Two unnamed sources told the Washington Post the Kremlin was attempting to interfere with the 2020 presidential election through a Ukrainian parliamentarian with ties to President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
“We assess that President Vladimir Putin and the senior most Russian officials are aware of and probably directing Russia’s influence operations aimed at denigrating the former U.S. vice president, supporting the U.S. president and fueling public discord ahead of the U.S. election in November,” the report states in its first line.
The highly classified report was reportedly published for agency use at the end of last month, and is based on intelligence gathered by the FBI and the NSA.
Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach, who has been working publicly with Giuliani and was recently sanctioned by the Treasury Department for election meddling, has been spreading disinformation about Biden through Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI).
The CIA assessment describes Derkach’s activities in detail, saying the suspected Russian intelligence asset has coordinated his efforts through members of Congress, lobbyists and U.S. media outlets to amplify anti-Biden information.
The analysis claims Derkach has worked with a “prominent” person connected to the Trump campaign, but does not name Giuliani in the assessment.
Trump is already complaining about losing to Biden
During his latest rally, President Donald Trump lamented that former Vice President Joe Biden is at 50 percent in the polls.
Speaking to a Wisconsin crowd on Saturday, Trump said that they would joke that Biden was "1 percent Joe," seemingly tying Biden's television ratings to approval ratings.
"He's at 50 percent," said Trump. "And at 50 percent he wins. You explain: Is politics crazy or what?"
The moment came after Trump alleged that the coronavirus was already "going away" and that the day after the election all of the states would reopen.
‘Chaos and confusion’: Election head in solid GOP state bashes Trump for ‘undermining’ their mail-in voting efforts
Donald Trump's attempts to cast doubt on the result of the 2020 presidential election -- which appears to not be going his way -- is causing headaches and grief in Utah where voters who have overwhelmingly voted by mail are now in a panic over whether their votes will be counted.
According to a report from Washington Post, Weber County -- a rock-ribbed Republican district of 260,000 -- began using mail-in voting in 2013 with no complaints. In fact, according to the report, 'more than 99 percent of ballots cast in the  primary were placed in the mail or deposited in a dropbox."
Republicans have more to gain from losing the election — and they know it: Columnist
On Saturday, writing for The Week, Matthew Walther argued that Congressional Republicans' recent behavior shows they have made peace with losing the election — that, indeed, they are looking forward to it, and have mapped out what they will do next as the party out of power.
"Faced with the possibility of losing both the White House and possibly even the Senate in a year in which Democrats are also expected to consolidate control of the House as well, Republicans have resigned themselves to a half decade or so of opposition," wrote Walther. "Many of them are relieved at the thought of not even having to pretend to govern as members of a minority party — better yet, in the case of those who expect to lose their seats, at the not very remote possibility of a well-remunerated position with a lobbying or consulting firm."