Fresh claims about 'Russian meddling' in the 2020 US elections are "paranoid" nonsense, but can only be expected to increase as the November vote nears, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.
On Thursday, NYT reported, citing several unnamed sources, that US intelligence agencies believed that Russia was plotting to meddle in both the Democratic primaries and the 2020 general election in a bid to get Donald Trump reelected. According to the newspaper, Russia's plans included fiendish schemes to use "ransomware attacks to damage or interfere with voting systems or registration databases," and attempts to undermine confidence in the US election system generally.
"This is just another paranoid report of the kind which, unfortunately, we will see more and more of as the election approaches. Of course, such claims bear no relationship to the truth," Peskov said, commenting on the NYT piece.
US officials and pro-Democratic media have spent well over three years accusing President Trump of being a Kremlin agent, and claiming that Moscow was engaged in an aggressive pro-Trump interference campaign in 2016. These allegations, collectively known as 'Russiagate,' essentially collapsed in April 2019, after the release of a 400 page+ report by special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller, who spent over two years examining alleged coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign in 2016, found no evidence of collusion. Furthermore, Mueller's charges regarding instances of actual alleged 'Russian meddling' were limited to Facebook and Twitter trolling campaigns whose effectiveness and significance have repeatedly been called into question.
Earlier this month, investigative US media revealed that a key piece of 'evidence' used by the Obama White House to start the FBI probe into possible Trump-Russia collusion in 2016, the so-called 'black ledger' of secret cash payments to Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort during his work in Ukraine, was a complete fabrication created from scratch by Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau and leaked to US media in the summer of 2016.