WASHINGTON – Russia is trying to intervene in the Democratic primary to help Senator Bernie Sanders, according to people familiar with the matter, and intelligence officials have informed him recently of Russian interference in the election, Mr. Sanders said Friday.
In a statement on Friday, Mr Sanders called President Vladimir V Putin a “tyrannical thug” condemning Russia and warned Moscow to stay away from the election.
Mr Sanders said, “Let’s be clear, the Russians want to harm American democracy by dividing us, and I stand firm against the current president against their efforts and any foreign power that wants to interfere with our election.”
He also told reporters that he was briefed about a month ago.
“Detectives tell us that Russia is interfering with the campaign right now, in 2021,” Mr. Sanders said Friday in Bakersfield, California, where he will hold a rally before the Caucasus in Nevada on Saturday. “And what I have said to Mr. Putin, ‘If I am elected President, believe you do not interfere in the American election.'”
Senior intelligence officials told members of the House Intelligence Committee last week that electoral vandalism was under way, including with Russia Interfering in the democratic primary.
Intelligence officials also warned House lawmakers that Russia was interfering with the campaign to try to re-elect President Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. They say that the disclosure to Congress angered Mr Trump, accusing him of using the Democrats against him.
Republicans have taken issue with the notion that he has endorsed Mr Trump, emphasizing that Mr Putin simply wants to spread chaos and undermine the democratic system. But some current and former officials have said that a Russian campaign to endorse Mr Sanders would ultimately consider Mr Sanders as a weak opponent of the president rather than a more moderate Democratic nominee, in order to assist Mr Trump.
The Washington Post The first report Sanders campaign briefing.
Mr Sanders said it was his understanding that the Russians were again trying to intervene in the operation. “Some of the ugly things on the internet” have been blamed for his campaign that could have come from false accounts, he said.
The Russians backed Mr Sanders – or at least did not do any harm – on the 21st of 2016. The directors of a Russian intelligence-backed troll factory instructed Mr Sanders or Mr Trump to avoid the attack, the special counsel reported, Robert S. Mellor III. The report ordered operators to launch attacks on Hillary Clinton’s campaign, citing internal documents from Internet research firms. “Use any opportunity to criticize anyone other than Hillary and Sanders and Trump – we support them,” the document states.
This is a developer story. Check back for updates.