Russian President Vladimir Putin might use President Biden’s support for Ukraine as a reason to interfere in upcoming American elections, US intelligence officials have assessed.
Intelligence agencies have so far yet to uncover evidence linking Putin to this operation, sources familiar with the matter told the Associated Press on Saturday.
However, the sources theorized that Putin might view the US’s support of Ukraine as an insult to him, providing an incentive for him to meddle. It’s unclear which candidates Russia might back or how they would assist.
“Our Election Threats Executive continues to lead the Intelligence Community’s efforts against foreign threats to US elections,” said Avril Haines, spokesperson for US Director of National Intelligence.
“We’re also continuing to work to deliver on the legislative requirement to create a center to integrate intelligence on foreign malignant influence.”
The spokesperson declined to comment on what intelligence officials think of Putin’s intentions.
Russia’s embassy in Washington did not return messages.
The assessment comes as the US electoral system is already under fire. Political factions remain sharply divided over the last presidential election.
Former President Donald Trump has vehemently denied reports from US intelligence officials that Russia meddled to help him in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.
Tensions between the US and Russia have reached levels not seen since the end of the Cold War. The Biden administration has boosted military support for Ukraine and helped impose global sanctions that have crippled Russia’s economy.
With Post wire services.