Did Russia Help Donald Trump Become President?

| February 17 , 2018 , 16:55 IST

US intelligence agencies are investigating if Russia attempted to sway the 2016 presidential election in favour of Donald Trump. As part of the inquiry, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has been charged with conspiring to defraud the US by abetting with Ukraine, and to launder money. A business associate, Rick Gates, has also been charged with money laundering. Another adviser to the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, has already pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Further, President Trump has been accused by the Democrats of trying to interfere with the investigation, which the president denies along with any allegation of collusion with Russia.

Last week the investigation revealed that in the run-up to the US presidential election ’Project Lakhta’, as it was called, had an operating budget of more than $1m a month, and in which Russians travelled to the US, posed as Americans and gathered information on where best to ‘sow discord’ in the US political process, and efforts were made to boost the Republican Donald Trump and undermine Democrat Hillary Clinton. However this indictment does not suggest collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, but instead reveals that the meddling effort may have been aided by ‘unwitting individuals’ associated with Trump.

In the latest development of this investigation, 13 Russians have been charged by the FBI with interfering in the US 2016 election. Three of the accused have been named for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five for aggravated identity theft.

Also Read:13 Russian Nationals Indicted For Meddling In 2016 Presidential Elections

Russia has denied interfering in the US presidential election, whereas President Trump tweeted that his campaign had done nothing wrong.