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CLAIM ID

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Hillary Clinton colluded with Russia.

American intelligence officials have not yet verified the allegation that Hillary Clinton planned a scandal against Trump by linking him to Russia.

American intelligence officials have not yet verified the allegation that Hillary Clinton planned a scandal against Trump by linking him to Russia.Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton and then-Republican candidate Donald Trump competed against each other in the U.S presidential election in 2016, with the latter emerging victorious on electoral votes despite not winning the nationwide popular vote. Even before the elections, several U.S federal agencies had reported of a purported Russian involvement in sabotaging the fairness of the U.S presidential elections of 2016.

Later these agencies concluded that the Russians were using ad campaigns on social media to defame Hilary Clinton and support Donald Trump. It was also revealed that many of Trump's top campaign aides were directly involved with the Russians.

As a result, Robert Mueller was made the special counsel is investigating Russian intervention in the 2016 U.S presidential elections. After years of investigations and many congressional committee hearings on many of the accused colluding with the Russians, Mueller submitted his report in March 2020, which confirmed that many of Donald Trump's campaign staff had direct contact with Russian officials. The report has not mentioned anything related to Hilary Clinton being connected with the Russians.

Despite the investigations, President Trump has repeatedly claimed that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats were dealing with Russia during the 2020 race to the White House.

Trump referred to a Russian intelligence assessment that was declassified by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Sept 29, 2020. It contained declassified information about the FBI’s handling of the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation in 2016 and 2017 into links between Trump associates and Russian officials, as per Associated Press. The letter explained that in Jul 2016, American intelligence agencies received “insight” into Russian analysis alleging that Clinton, a presidential candidate at the time, had approved plans to create a scandal against Trump by linking him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

Besides several sections of the document being heavily redacted, the letter also acknowledged that “The IC [Intelligence Community] does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.” This indicates that American intelligence officials are yet to ascertain whether the claim is accurate or an exaggeration, or an outright lie.

The allegations that Clinton was behind the FBI probe of Trump also gained traction after it came to light that Clinton had sought the services of British spy Christopher Steele. According to The Washington Post, the Clinton campaign had asked a research firm, Fusion GPS, to investigate whether Russia was trying to influence the campaign, Trump’s personal and business ties to Russia, and any connection between the Trump campaign and Russia. That request led to hiring a former British spy, Christopher Steele, who produced a series of reports now known as “the dossier.” Numerous investigations and lawsuits were called into question many of the details of his reports, including his sourcing and methods. After it was released that Clinton’s campaign had funded Steele’s research, long after the dossier was published, Clinton was accused of orchestrating the FBI probe of Trump. In December 2019, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice concluded that “Steele’s reports played no role in the Crossfire Hurricane opening.”

The timing of the declassification of the documents considering that the information is unverified, has led to questions about the move being politically motivated. Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner was quoted by Politico as saying, “It’s very disturbing to me that, 35 days before an election, the director of national intelligence would release unverified Russian rumint.” Several former senior intelligence officials also described Ratcliffe’s move as incendiary and irresponsible, reported Politico.

A bipartisan Senate committee also summed up its investigation on the Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S presidential elections. Even this report showed nothing tying Hilary Clinton or her campaign staff to the Russians.

Thus, it can be concluded that there is no mention of Hilary Clinton being involved with the Russians during the presidential election of 2016 in any of the reports on the Russian interference in the U.S elections.

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