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.