Putin likely behind 2020 election meddling -U.S.

Russian President Vladimir Putin knew of and likely directed a Russian effort to manipulate the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign to benefit former President Donald Trump with "misleading or unsubstantiated allegations" against challenger Joe Biden.

That's according to a report released Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The report underscored allegations that Trump’s allies were playing into Moscow’s hands by amplifying false claims about Biden in the run up to the November 3rd election.

As in the 2016 election, the report said the Russian so-called troll factory formerly known as the Internet Research Agency pushed disparaging stories on social media about Biden and Democrats and complained about censorship by tech companies.

It also sought to exacerbate U.S. divisions on racial justice issues.

The report also punctured a counter-narrative pushed by Trump’s allies that China was interfering on Biden’s behalf, concluding that Beijing (quote), “did not deploy interference efforts.”

The intelligence agencies found other attempts to sway voters in 2020, including what it called a “multi-pronged covert influence campaign” by Iran intended to undercut Trump’s support.

The Russian and Chinese Embassies in Washington and the Iranian mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to requests for comment.