Category: Hillary Clinton
Democrats Appoint Anti-Minimum-Wage Advocate to Finance Committee
| October 20, 2017 | 8:36 pm | Analysis, Hillary Clinton, political struggle | No comments

On delivering the absolute minimum

Various sources have reported that Tom Perez, the Chair of the Democratic National Committee, has appointed Atlanta native Dan Halpern to the finance committee of the party.

Specifically, he will be part of a squad of deputy national finance chairs. As the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports:

Halpern chaired Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s mayoral campaign in 2009 and served as a trustee for then-President-elect Barack Obama’s 2008 inaugural committee. Halpern also is immediate past chairman of the Atlanta Housing Authority Board of Directors and a past chairman of the Georgia Restaurant Association.

In a party that says it’s trying to be progressive, Halpern is a strange direction. As the head of Jackmont Hospitality and the GRA, Halpern has reliably opposed the minimum wage. His record thus far suggests a hostility towards the kind of worker-friendly policies that the Bernie-era Dems are supposedly pursuing. It suggests Perez, and Perez’s backers and friends, have not gotten the memo about economic justice.

In Halpern’s home state of Georgia, according to Politifact “Senate Bill 314 called for raising Georgia’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, but it didn’t get so much as a hearing.”

Why? Halpern’s people—the Georgia Restaurant Association—claimed that there would be a potential loss of 21,000 jobs, ignoring the increased possibility for consumer spending, for new jobs, for giving hungry people a hand up. Everything must benefit the boardroom, you see, or it’s not worth doing. As Politifact helpfully reminds us, “Georgia’s minimum wage is technically $5.15 an hour (Georgia Code 34-4-3) and has been since 2001. But the vast majority of Georgia employers (some say more than 99 percent) must comply with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which means they have to pay their employees the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.” If given god-like sway over the business, Halpern and his GRA would probably prefer to keep this amount even lower.

Hardly surprising. When a guy is described by the Atlanta Journal Constitution as a “Georgia Democratic moneyman,” it’s safe bet he couldn’t give two hoots in hell for a single mother making minimum wage at McDonald’s.

If you’ve got a sec and a yearning for self-inflicted pain, browse over to Jackmont’s site. Take a gander at the page they keep up for Halpern. His bio is full of the weirdly specific praise beloved in the executive suite. Dan’s favorite food is Paella. And like me, his alias is “Coach Dad.” Well, that’s not my nickname, but Halpern apparently means it seriously. He drinks bourbon, small batch.

“He’s not just the guy who signs the checks and seals the deals. CEO and Co-founder Daniel Halpern is the head, hands, and heart behind Jackmont Hospitality.

Can you imagine what it must be like to sit next to this guy on a transatlantic flight, yammering about his incredible resume? I bet if the plane lost all engine power and the whole blessed lot of passengers went spiralling down to watery death, Halpern would keep delivering a monologue in the third person.

… Not surprisingly, Daniel isn’t new to foodservice management. Not to drop names, but before Jackmont Hospitality, he worked for Holiday Inn Worldwide. He also has a degree from the School of Hotel Administration from a little place called Cornell University.

“A little place.” Christ. Hey Dan, ever worked a busy lunch shift? I sure as hell have.

And apparently, Daniel’s reputation precedes him, which is why Johnson and Wales University bestowed upon him an honorary degree in Business Administration in Foodservice Management. Ever the over-achiever, Daniel also earned the Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) designation … Like most foodservice celebrities, Daniel has published widely and lectured around the world on industry-related topics. … Daniel, Renaissance man that he is, has advised many of the top political leaders of his time …

This is like reading the dating personals at the back of an Ivy League magazine. Renaissance man … over-achiever … reputation precedes him …. Best of all, foodservice celebrity. I can’t get over that. That’s how I plan to refer to myself in the future, whenever restaurants kick me out for demanding more of them spicy lobster rolls.

This is Perez’s idea of a swell guy to raise money for the new, Post-Hillary Democratic party. Coach Dad, who desperately needs your approval, and occasionally your money.

Tom. Dan. The Clinton era is over. The time when you could get away with playing both sides of the field is done. No more claiming to be for marginalized people, and then cheating them of a decent life. No more.

The Chronicle again:

“This team has a proven track record and decades of combined experience raising the resources to elect Democrats up and down the ballot,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said. “They played a key role in sending President Obama to the Oval Office, and they’ll help ensure that we continue to elect Democrats in 2017, 2018 and beyond.”

The contested DNC leadership election was in February. The Bernie wing wanted the leadership position bad. The Corporate Dems kept saying that the Chair position didn’t matter. Why, the centrists asked, are you Berniecrats contesting it at all? It was a suspicious denial.

Especially since the Corporate Democrats ended up going after the chairmanship just as hard as the Bernie wing did. Now we see the results of such an election: the Halperns of the party are still free to play the field. Is this the future of the Democratic Party that Tom Perez had in mind? I’m honestly surprised Perez’s man doesn’t support a mandatory minimum—since that’s all Perez and his centrists are willing to give.

Clinton: ‘I am done with being a candidate’
| September 10, 2017 | 9:10 pm | Hillary Clinton | No comments

Clinton: ‘I am done with being a candidate’

September 10 at 11:00 AM  

(Patrick Semansky/AP)

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said Sunday that she will not pursue the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

“I am done with being a candidate,” Clinton said on CBS’s “Sunday Morning.”

Clinton — who on Tuesday will release “What Happened,” her memoir of the 2016 campaign — does plan to stay involved in national politics, just not as an “active politician” who may launch Hillary Clinton’s new book, ‘What Happened,’ comes out Sept. 12, but audio excerpts were made public on Aug. 23. Hillary Clinton’s new book, ‘What Happened,’ comes out Sept. 12, but audio excerpts were made public on Aug. 23. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

Hillary Clinton’s new book, ‘What Happened,’ comes out Sept. 12, but audio excerpts were made public on Aug. 23. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

“But I am not done with politics because I literally believe that our country’s future is at stake,” she said in an interview with Jane Pauley.

Clinton also was critical of President Trump’s preparedness for the White House.

“We have a reality show that leads to the election of a president. He ends up in the Oval Office. He says, ‘Boy, it’s so much harder than I thought it would be. This is really tough. I had no idea,’” Clinton said. “Well, yeah, because it’s not a show. It’s real. It’s reality, for sure.”

The former Democratic nominee said she has moved on from her 2016 election loss but acknowledged that the sting of defeat has not entirely faded away.

“I am good,” Clinton said. “But that doesn’t mean I am complacent or resolved about what happened. It still is very painful. It hurts a lot.”

LIVE: Thomas Frank on Clinton’s Attack on Sanders

Russia ‘Collusion’ Smoking Gun?
One of the Kremlin towers in Moscow.

Russia ‘Collusion’ Smoking Gun?

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Finian Cunningham

Political opponents and US media are calling the uncovered past meeting between Donald Trump’s son and a Russian lawyer a “smoking gun”.

This is the proof, we are told, that the Trump election team did indeed collude with the Russian government in order to win the US election at the end of last year.

Since the New York Times broke the story last weekend of the meeting between Donald Trump Jr and the Russian lawyer there has been a frenzy among the anti-Trump political camp that the so-called “Russia-gate” affair has reached a critical moment.

Demands for impeachment have grown because, it is asserted, a member of the Trump campaign team met with a “Kremlin-connected lawyer who had information to damage Clinton”.If you read the story in this way then perhaps the “smoking gun” conclusion might be made: Trump’s son, Donald Jr, responds “I love it” when told in an email that a Russian lawyer working for the Kremlin wants to give him information that would politically damage Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential contender against his father.

Trump Jr did indeed respond enthusiastically to the offer and the meeting did take place at Trump Tower in New York City on June 9 last year, two weeks after his father won the Republican party’s nomination for president. Donald Jr earlier this week released a batch of private emails confirming those details.

Political opponents of President Trump, mainly Democrats but also Republicans, as well as prominent news media outlets, like The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN, are now saying that the meeting between Trump’s son and the Russian lawyer is the “first hard evidence” of the alleged Russia collusion to interfere in US democracy.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands during the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany in this still image taken from video, July 7, 2017
© REUTERS/ Steffen Kugler/Courtesy of Bundesregierung

However, this version of the story has a crucial fatal flaw. All the claims made to Trump Jr about the “Kremlin-connected lawyer” and the “Russian government wanting to help Trump get elected” are deeply suspect. The grandiose claims were made by a former British tabloid journalist named Rob Goldstone who appears to be acquainted with Trump Jr.Goldstone, who works as a publicist and an entertainments manager, wrote to Trump Jr to set up a meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya. The lawyer was acting for the family of Russian pop star Emin Agalarov.

It turns out that the Russian lawyer wanted to meet the Trump campaign to make legitimate representations about US legislation known as the Magnitsky Act (2010), which has sanctioned several Russian individuals and business people over alleged human rights abuses.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the attorney, has this week told US media that this was the sole subject of the meeting with the Trump campaign, and that she was not acting on behalf of the Russian government, but rather in a private professional capacity. She also said that she never had any intention to discuss Hillary Clinton with Trump Jr. As far as she was concerned, the meeting was only about issues related to the Magnitsky Act.

The Kremlin has confirmed that Veselnitskaya does not work for the Russian government. In fact, the Kremlin said it was not even aware of her legal practice.Trump Jr also confirmed in subsequent media interviews that his meeting with Veselnitskaya was an anti-climax. He says he heard “nothing” about Clinton from the Russian lawyer, whom he said wanted to talk about Magnitsky issues. “I realized that this was the real purpose for the meeting,” said Trump Jr.

That means that Trump Jr was misled by the music publicist Rob Goldstone. For whatever reason, Goldstone embellished the nature of the forthcoming meeting with the lawyer as being about juicy political gossip to help the Trump election campaign.

In other words, the former tabloid hack was putting his own spin on the matter by claiming that the lawyer was “Kremlin-connected” and was conveying “information from the Russian government to damage Clinton in order to help Trump’s election”.

The lawyer for the family of Emin Agalarov, the Russian singer who asked Goldstone to set up the meeting between Trump Jr and Veselnitskaya, has now come out to rubbish the claims made by Goldstone.

“The vast majority of what Rob Goldstone said in email exchange with Donald Trump Jr is not accurate,” Agalarov’s family attorney, Scott Balber, told RT. “The only thing that’s true is that Emin asked the meeting to be arranged. The rest of it is not true, it’s false.”

So there you have it. It appears that the US media frenzy this week about obtaining a “smoking gun” implicating Trump in collusion with the Russian government to subvert the American presidential election is yet another over-the-top sensation with little factual basis.

Simply put, the Russian government was not involved in US election interference, as the Kremlin has maintained all along.

What the US media are basing their latest collusion allegations on are merely claims made by a former British tabloid hack and pop star publicist who would have had self-serving reasons to ham up the “goods” in order to sell Trump Jr a scoop.This would not be the first time that the Russia-gate affair has relied on dodgy information from a dubious British source. Recall that the “dirty dossier” was authored by former British MI6 spy Christopher Steele, who made outlandish claims that the Kremlin had “Kompromat” on Donald Trump Sr from hotel orgies with Russian prostitutes.

Granted, one could censure Donald Trump Jr for being willing to receive information from what he believed to be Russian government sources to take down Clinton. But, hey come on, that’s politics and the dirty business of “opposition research” which all parties engage in. It’s impossibly naive and self-righteous to pummel Trump Jr over it.

Anyway, the salient fact remains that there was no such transfer of information from the Russian government to the Trump campaign. The US media are once again going off on a tangent, chasing their tails and tilting at windmills.

To make a grandstanding big deal about Trump Jr’s conduct is the height of hypocrisy, especially in light of Hillary Clinton’s campaign having commissioned the British ex-spy Christopher Steele to dig dirt on Trump Sr, as reported by award-winning investigative journalist Robert Parry.

The whole “Russia-gate” affair is a wild fiction dreamt up by powerful American elements who frankly refuse to abide by democracy. To make things worse, Russia is embroiled as a villain in the piece, which ensures US-Russia bilateral relations deteriorate to dangerous levels of hostility, where even the breakout of war has become a real possibility.Washington and the US media have been in thrall to this fantasy for the past seven months, and yet still no evidence has been unearthed to justify the squandering of taxpayer money and paralysis of American government. It’s not Russia that is undermining US democracy. It is Americans themselves.

The so-called “smoking gun” of Trump Jr meeting a Russian lawyer for 20 minutes last year is another dud in a heap of duds. This is no smoking gun. More like a joke water pistol.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Clinton: ‘Scandalous, Boring and Incapable of Recognizing Her Own Mistakes’
Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally in Lake Worth, Florida, US October 26, 2016.

Clinton: ‘Scandalous, Boring and Incapable of Recognizing Her Own Mistakes’

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Former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton remains in denial that she destroyed her campaign with her own hands, political scientist Gevorg Mirzayan wrote for RIA Novosti, commenting on Clinton’s claim that it was FBI Director Jim Comey, WikiLeaks, and Russia behind her defeat.

While Hillary Clinton is pinning the blame for her defeat in the US 2016 presidential elections on FBI Director James Comey, WikiLeaks and elusive “Russian hackers,” it appears that she destroyed her own campaign, Gevorg Mirzayan, Associate Professor at the Department of Political Sciences of Finance University under the Government of the Russian Federation, wrote in his op-ed for RIA Novosti.Speaking to CNN host Christiane Amanpour at the recent Women for Women International event in New York, Clinton claimed that she was “on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me [her] and got scared off.”

“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” she said.

However, according to Mirzayan, Clinton’s claim is nothing but wishful thinking.

Perhaps, James Comey behaved inconsistently, announcing the second round of the investigation into Clinton’s email on October 28 and then, on November 6, saying that the inquiry “hadn’t turned up anything,” the political scientist noted. However, it was Clinton who used a private email server for official communications during her tenure as Secretary of State.

And still, Clinton went unpunished.

Citing one of Donald Trump’s tweets, Mirzayan said that Comey was indeed “the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton.”

“As for ‘Russian hackers’,” the political scientist continued, “they, according to Hillary, broke into the mailbox of the chief of her staff, John Podesta, and found many interesting things there. For example, they threw light on unfair competition in the democratic primaries, when the party supported Hillary against Bernie Sanders.”

It wasn’t “Russian hackers” who sunk Bernie Sanders, who, in contrast to Hillary, had a good rating.Gallup consulting company reported back in July 2016 that “as the Democratic National Convention gets underway in Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton’s image is at its lowest point in the 24 years of her national career, with 38% of Americans viewing her favorably and 57% unfavorably.”

“As political scientists correctly said, Trump could be beaten by any decent Democratic candidate with a good rating and a decent reputation,” Mirzayan highlighted.

“Scandalous, boring and incapable of recognizing her own mistakes, Hillary lost the elections, because even part of the ‘loyal’ democratic electorate did not vote for her,” he said.

Only 43 percent of white highly-educated women voted for Clinton, while, for comparison’s sake, 53 percent of them cast their ballots for “sexist” Trump, the political scientist recalled.Clinton lost because she failed to win the hearts and minds those in the Rust Belt, in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

As David Axelrod, who served as former president Barack Obama’s adviser, recently remarked, “Jim Comey didn’t tell [Clinton] not to campaign in Wisconsin after the convention,” and “Jim Comey didn’t say ‘don’t put any resources into Michigan until the final week of the campaign.'”

“Finally, Hillary lost due to the fact that the Democratic Party has ceased to be democratic,” Mirzayan wrote, “According to a joint poll by The Washington Post and ABC, 67% of respondents believe that the Democratic Party is out of touch with the concerns of their voters (62% of respondents think the same about the Republicans).”

According to the political scientist, if the Democrats want to regain the positions they need new competitive candidates.

However, it appears that the former Democratic presidential nominee is going to return to politics in her own way.

Politico reported Friday that Clinton is building a new political group to throw sand in the gears of Trump and the Republicans.

“The former secretary of state is building a new political group to fund organizations working on the resistance to President Donald Trump’s agenda, spending recent weeks in Washington, New York City, and Chappaqua, N.Y., meeting with donors and potential groups to invest in, and recruiting individuals for the group’s board of directors,” the media outlet said.

Only time will tell whether Clinton’s new strategy will work.

On the Warpath: Clinton ‘Building New Political Group’ to Counter Trump’s Agenda
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally in Daytona Beach, Florida, US October 29, 2016.

On the Warpath: Clinton ‘Building New Political Group’ to Counter Trump’s Agenda

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Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is reportedly busy creating a new group specifically aimed at funding organizations which will throw sand in the gears of Donald Trump and his Republican fellowmen.

It appears that former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is serious about returning to politics.

According to Politico, Clinton is building “a new political group” to counter her political rival, Donald Trump.

“The former secretary of state is building a new political group to fund organizations working on the resistance to President Donald Trump’s agenda, spending recent weeks in Washington, New York City, and Chappaqua, N.Y., meeting with donors and potential groups to invest in, and recruiting individuals for the group’s board of directors,” Politico wrote Friday citing multiple sources with the knowledge of the matter.

It is expected that she will launch the new group called Onward Together as early as next week, the media outlet noted, adding that Clinton’s spokesman refused to comment on the issue.The rumors of Clinton’s political comeback have been circulating in mainstream media since the beginning of the year.

“I’m certain Trump will screw up enough that by the fall of ’18, Hillary’s numbers will be way up again,” former Pennsylvania governor and DNC chair Ed Rendell told Politico just a few days after Trump’s inauguration.

Curiously enough, in mid-March WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief, Julian Assange tweeted that the former Democratic presidential nominee is harboring plans to oust Trump from the Oval Office by replacing him with US Vice President Mike Pence.

​”Clinton stated privately this month that she is quietly pushing for a Pence takeover. She stated that Pence is predictable hence defeatable,” Assange tweeted.

Speaking to Sputnik in March, Charles Ortel, an investigative journalist and Wall Street analyst, threw the potential scenario into doubt, adding, however, that Trump’s political opponents are likely to continue to attack the US President.

“I would like to think that the ‘House of Cards’ scenario suggested by Assange and others is far from viable, though I have no doubt that many establishment players in Democrat and Republican parties, in the media, in academia, and in government bureaucracies would be delighted to oust President Trump, one way or another,” Ortel told Sputnik.

Ortel’s prediction has proved right: as Russian journalist Viktor Marakhovsky noted in his recent op-ed for RIA Novosti, a covert “cold civil war” is currently raging on between the Trump administration and the US political and media establishment.In addition, during her latest interview with CNN host, Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women International event in New York Hillary Clinton reiterated that it was FBI Director James Comey and the much-discussed “Russian hackers” who deprived her of her victory. According to Clinton, Trump’s win was merely incidental.

“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” Clinton insisted.

Commenting on the reported creation of the Onward Together group, Cheryl K. Chumley of The Washington Times suggested that it resembles nothing so much as the Clinton Foundation 2.0.

“Hillary Clinton, after a six-month break from public life, is emerging to head up a resistance group, ‘Onward Together,’ aimed entirely at taking out President Donald Trump’s policies and bringing down the Republican agenda. It smells like a watchdogger’s dream. Can you say ‘Clinton Foundation, deja vu?’,” Chumley wrote.

According to the journalist, Clinton is calling her new initiative a “political fundraising outlet.”

“The Clinton Foundation was a fundraising operation as well — supposedly, to fund programs that ‘improve people’s lives around the world,’ as the site states. But as oftentimes happens when Clintons meet money, good intentions ran awry,” Chumley remarked, adding ironically that watchdoggers should “start their engines” now.

Why Hillary Clinton Still Can’t Stop ‘Whining’ About Her Defeat
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton talks about climate change at a rally at Miami Dade College with former Vice President Al Gore in Miami, Florida, U.S. October 11, 2016.

Why Hillary Clinton Still Can’t Stop ‘Whining’ About Her Defeat

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Hillary Clinton continues to push ahead with the story that Donald Trump’s victory was purely incidental. Speaking to Radio Sputnik, Russian political analyst Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak explained what really lies at the root of Clinton’s narrative.

It appears that former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton still cannot reconcile herself to the shocking defeat in the November elections.

“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” Clinton told CNN host Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women International event in New York.

“I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off — and the evidence for that intervening event is, I think, compelling [and] persuasive,” she added.Indeed, following Clinton’s electoral defeat some observers speculated that the FBI stepping in on October 28, 2016, with its renewed investigation of Clinton’s emails had dealt a heavy blow to her campaign.

Even though FBI Director James Comey had announced on November 6 that the second round of the investigation “hadn’t turned up anything,” the damage was already done.

However, US President Donald Trump does not share Clinton’s views on what had happened to her campaign.

“FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony… Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?” the US president tweeted in response.

Commenting on the issue, Russian political analyst and expert in American studies Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak told Radio Sputnik that one shouldn’t be surprised of Clinton’s unceasing attempt to justify herself.

“Everyone wants to justify one’s actions,” Sinelnikov-Orishak noted.

According to the political analyst, Hillary Clinton has clung to her “Russian hacking” narrative and is unlikely to give it up.

“She might have persuaded herself [that it is true]… and she will continue to talk about it, she is going to write a book about it,” he said.

However, Sinelnikov-Orishak expressed confidence that Clinton would not have won even if the elections had been held on October 27, 2016.

“As for the reasons [behind Clinton’s defeat], I think there are two of them,” the political analyst pointed out. “The first reason is that the tendency towards the victory of the Republicans had been increasing since the days of [Barack] Obama. And the second reason is the unfavorable rating. They [Americans] liked neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton, but Clinton’s ‘anti-rating’ turned out to be higher. And even now they [Americans] would not have voted for her: an unfavorable rating is such a thing that can’t fade away soon. And then [during the November elections], despite her belief, Clinton did not have many chances to win,” Sinelnikov-Orishak told Radio Sputnik.

According to the political analyst, Clinton “will continue to work on the next election.””Therefore she needs to demonstrate that the victory won by the Republicans was purely incidental. Of course, no one will miss a chance to exploit the ‘Russian hackers’ issue; this topic will be further circulated,” Sinelnikov-Orishak assumed.

“Usually, the winners do not talk much about their victory, but the losers are constantly whining,” he added.

The issue of Russia’s “meddling” in US elections has become the centerpiece of the US establishment’s anti-Trump campaign. However, the US intelligence community has not yet presented any credible evidence to back their claims.

Meanwhile, WikiLeak’s disclosure of the CIA’s hacking techniques has yet again thrown the “Russian hacking” story into doubt.

During the recent press conference dedicated to the summit between the Russian and German leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin underscored that Russia “has never interfered in other countries’ political processes.”

“These are unsubstantiated rumors used in the internal political struggle,” Putin stressed.

The 2016 US presidential elections were followed by allegations from the Obama administration that Russia may have meddled in the elections. In January 2017 the US Intelligence Community issued a report suggesting that such interference took place, but failed to provide any credible proof.

Moscow has repeatedly denounced the allegations.