U.S. intelligence officials tell Congress there’s no evidence Russia has ‘picked’ a 2020 U.S. presidential candidate

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation on September 15, 2016, ahead of September 18 parliamentary elections. President Vladimir Putin on September 15 called on Russians to cast their ballots in parliamentary elections on Sunday even though the polls are not expected to challenge his political dominance. PHOTO: Sputnik

(USA Features) U.S. intelligence officials told lawmakers on Wednesday that there has been no determination that Russia is planning to interfere in the 2020 elections on behalf of any particular candidate.

In addition, the Washington Examiner reported, the officials noted that multiple countries planned to try to meddle in the elections in one way or another.

“The IC has not concluded that the Kremlin is directly aiding any candidate’s reelection or any other candidates’ election. Nor have we concluded that the Russians will definitely choose to try to do so in 2020,” an unclassified Intelligence Community fact sheet read.

“This is not a Russia-only problem. China, Iran, other countries like North Korea and Cuba, and non-state actors all have the opportunity, means, and potential motive to interfere in the 2020 elections as a way to achieve their goals,” it added.

The fact sheet runs counter to recent media reports citing anonymous sources claiming that Russia planned to interfere on behalf of both President Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent now struggling to catch up with Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.

The Office of National Intelligence, which coordinates all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, said Tuesday that “Russian social media and state media messaging has taken aim at some of the candidates from both parties, in part to signal Russia’s unhappiness with policy statements or choices” and “we expect that the intent of hostile state actors toward the 2020 election will evolve as the election nears.”

The Washington Examiner noted: “Last month, the intelligence community disputed information the media were given about a classified House Intelligence Committee briefing, with officials denying that lawmakers were told Russia is attempting to help Trump in 2020.”

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