Russian President Putin likely authorized attempts to influence last year’s US election in favor of former President Donald Trump, intelligence officials say.
However, it said no foreign government had compromised the final results.
Russia has repeatedly denied allegations of election interference.
The 15-page report, released on Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, outlined what it said were “influence operations” pushed by Russia also as Iran.
It said Russian-linked individuals had spread unsubstantiated claims about President Biden before the three November election. It also said a disinformation campaign sought to undermine confidence within the broader election process.
Intelligence officials found “no indications that any foreign actor attempted to interfere within the 2020 US elections by altering any technical aspect of the voting process, including voter registration, ballot casting, vote tabulation, or reporting results.”
The report is that the latest official affirmation of the integrity of the election, whilst Trump supporters still make false claims of interference, from foreign or domestic actors, and refuse to accept Mr. Biden’s victory.
Multiple courts and even Mr. Trump’s own Department of Justice refuted claims of widespread fraud.
The document makes clear that even while Mr. Trump has cried foul about the legitimacy of the election, intelligence officials believe Russia sought to influence people on the brink of Mr. Trump as to how to tip the election in his favor.
The report wades into the politically charged task of ferreting out which foreign adversaries supported which candidates during the 2020 election, a problem that dominated headlines last year.
Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign benefited from hacking by Russian intelligence officers and a covert social media effort.
Their report said “broad Russian and Iranian campaigns targeting multiple critical infrastructure sectors did compromise the security of several networks that managed some election functions”.
But it emphasized that the alleged interference attempts were largely indirect.
“We have no indications that any foreign actor attempted to interfere… by altering any technical aspect of the voting process, including voter registration, ballot casting, vote tabulation, or reporting results,” the document reads.
The US Intelligence Community said last August that China, Russia, and Iran were actively trying to meddle within the forthcoming presidential election.
The assessment found that Russia was seeking to “denigrate” Mr. Biden. It also found that China and Iran wanted Mr. Trump to lose the vote.