Putin 'sought to help' Trump in US vote

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to help Donald Trump win the presidential election, a US intelligence report says.

The unclassified report says the Russian leader "ordered" a campaign aimed at influencing the election.

Moscow has not commented, but Russia has previously denied the claims.

After being briefed on the findings, Mr Trump stopped short of accusing Russia of interfering, saying only that the election outcome was not affected.

Mr Trump later went on to blame "gross negligence" by the Democratic National Committee for "allowing" the hacking to take place.

Following the report's findings, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that voting machines and other election databases would be classified as "critical infrastructure" and given more protection from cyber-attacks.

The 25-page report says that the Kremlin developed a "clear preference" for Mr Trump.

Russia's goals, the document added, were to "undermine public faith" in the US democratic process and "denigrate" his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton, harming her electability and potential presidency.

"We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election," it said.

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