Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

DHS report identifies Russia as main culprit of disinformation in the U.S.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with regional officials via tele link in his residence outside Moscow on March 30
President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied that Russia has spread misinformation in the U.S. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

Russia is the "primary covert influence actor and purveyor of disinformation and misinformation" in the U.S., a Department of Homeland Security report out Tuesday has concluded.

The big picture: The findings echo previous statements from various U.S. intelligence officials about the Kremlin's activities in the U.S. The efforts have focused on U.S. foreign and domestic policy, the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential election, among other issues.

  • The efforts aim to "sow discord, distract, shape public sentiment, and undermine trust in Western democratic institutions," per the report.

What else they're saying: "We assess that Moscow’s primary objective is to increase its global standing and influence by weakening America — domestically and abroad —through efforts to sow discord, distract, shape public sentiment, and undermine trust in Western democratic institutions and processes," the report states.

The big picture: FBI Director Chris Wray told Congress last month the Bureau has seen "very active efforts" by Russia to influence the 2020 election.

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