Every country attempts to influence every other country’s elections, on some level. Putin’s statement to Trump is, on many levels, a bold lie.
As a longtime technical observer of Russian information warfare, Putin’s statement is a repeat of similar statements he’s made since 2007. ‘We responded to provocation(s) in South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Crimea, Donbas, and Transnistria.’ ‘We didn’t shoot down MH17’. ‘We don’t have troops inside Crimea’. ‘We didn’t cheat at doping in Sochi’. The list is lengthy, the intent is to deceive, his credibility is negligible.
Perhaps Putin’s intent is not to deceive, but to deny. “Prove it” has become a reliable fallback position. Cyber attacks against Estonia. Cyber attacks against the US. Against Ukraine. Against all the countries of the world. “Prove it”, and we can’t, don’t, or won’t. The most likely answer is that we will not, we won’t, make an audacious accusation with evidence in hand…
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