Biden administration confirms Russian agent shared 2016 Trump polling data as part of election interference efforts
By Katie Bo Williams, Jeremy Herb and Marshall Cohen, CNN
Updated 1:29 PM ET, Thu April 15, 2021
(CNN)The Biden administration on Thursday revealed new details about Russia’s extensive interference in the 2016 and 2020 US elections, including disclosing for the first time that a Russian agent who received internal polling data from the Trump campaign in 2016 passed it along to Russia’s intelligence services.
The new revelations about Moscow’s election meddling came as part of the Biden administration’s slate of sanctions against Russian actors on Thursday over Russia’s election interference as well as the SolarWinds hack and Russia’s ongoing occupation of Crimea.
After then-President Donald Trump repeatedly denied or downplayed Russia’s election interference in 2016, senior Trump administration officials, including Trump himself, refused to acknowledge or elevate Russian operations in 2020 and sought to characterize China as the greater threat.
The sanctions also included the US government’s acknowledgment for the first time that a Russian-linked intelligence operative named Konstantin Kilimnik provided information on Trump campaign polling strategy and data to the Russian intelligence services in 2016.
The hashtag #RussianCollusion should be trending again.