Federal officials have notified socialist Bernie Sanders that Russia is trying to boost his presidential campaign in an effort to impact who becomes the Democrats’ presidential nominee.
The Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump and other top lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been informed about Russia’s efforts to boost Sanders.
Top officials “have repeatedly warned that Russia has ongoing plans to interfere in U.S. elections and foster divisions among Americans, part of a strategic goal to undermine U.S. standing in the world,” The Post reported. “Some analysts believe that the Kremlin’s goal is to cause the maximum disruption within the United States, and it throws the support of its hackers and trolls behind candidates based on that goal, not any particular affinity for the persons running.”
Sanders has a long history of cozying up to Russia, including when he was the mayor of Burlington.
The Washington Post reported earlier this month:
One issue involves Sanders’s stance toward the former Soviet Union, a record that could undercut Democrats’ ability to criticize Trump for being too close to Russia today.
The documents from the Sanders archives include a letter from Soviet Embassy First Secretary Vadim Kuznetsov in March 1983, congratulating Sanders on his reelection as mayor and thanking Sanders for receiving him in Sanders’s office. Kuznetsov had been in Burlington to attend a conference on nuclear disarmament at the University of Vermont a few days earlier. Neither Sanders nor conference organizers appear to have read a 1976 Time magazine article that identified Kuznetsov as a member of a “Soviet intelligence squad” posing as diplomats to infiltrate U.S. politics.
In 1988, Sanders traveled to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon and forged a “sister city” cooperation program there. Many believe he gave a rosy depiction of conditions there just a few years before the communist system collapsed.
One potential reason Russia may be seeking to boost Sanders is that he has a history of being highly critical of U.S. military and defense spending, suggesting that drastic cuts need to be made in order to fund his far-left socialist programs.
Cuts to the U.S. defense spending would make it harder for the U.S. to counter increasing aggression from Russia.
By contrast, Trump has been harder on Russia than any president in recent memory.
Here are some of the following actions that Trump has taken against Russia:
- Trump has repeatedly enacted tough sanctions against Russia and Russian oligarchs for a wide range of offense ranging from election interference to supporting destabilizing actions in Ukraine.
- Trump expelled over 60 Russian diplomats from the U.S. after Russia engaged in an assassination attempt in the U.K.
- Trump played a significant role in securing an extra $100 billion in funding for NATO, which serves to counter Russian aggression.
- The Trump administration killed hundreds of Russian mercenaries in Syria.
- Trump has aggressively tried to prevent Russia from expanding its influence in the energy sector in Europe.
- Trump proposed buying Greenland last year in an apparent attempt to counter increasing Russian aggression and influence in the arctic.
- Trump has repeatedly gone after Russia’s top allies, including China, Iran, and North Korea.
This report has been updated to include additional information.