'Usual paranoid announcements': Russia denies claims of meddling in 2020 US vote

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 21, 2020, 10.06 PM(IST)

File photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photograph:( AFP )

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The allegations were 'like the usual paranoid announcements, which unfortunately will multiply as we get closer to the (US) election,' said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Russia on Friday dismissed claims that it is trying to interfere in the 2020 US presidential election. The country described the claims as a paranoid falsehood a day after US intelligence community's top election security official told lawmakers that Moscow, accused of meddling in the 2016 US election on Donald Trump's behalf, was looking to influence this year's vote. 

The allegations were "like the usual paranoid announcements, which unfortunately will multiply as we get closer to the (US) election," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

"Of course, they have nothing to do with the truth," Peskov added.

According to media reports, last week's briefing, led by election security official Shelby Pierson, addressed the overall picture of Russia's efforts, including hacking, weaponizing social media and attacks on election infrastructure.

The officials warned the committee in the classified briefing that Russia was working to cast doubt on the integrity of the voting process in the US presidential election 2020 while at the same time boosting Trump's election to a second four-year term.

Media reports quoting a source said that "the Russians are favouring one candidate while they do it," said the person, adding that the briefers identified Trump as the candidate. 

US officials have long warned that Russia and other countries would try to interfere in the 2020 US presidential election campaign.

The US intelligence community had concluded that Russia used fake news, cyber-attacks and other methods in an operation designed to swing the 2016 presidential election to Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Russia has denied the allegation.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the finding. At a 2018 summit, he said he found Russian President Vladimir Putin's denials of Russian meddling "extremely strong and powerful."

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded in a report last year that there was no conclusive evidence of coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. 

However, Mueller was unable to clear Trump of obstructing his investigation.

(With inputs from agencies)