News Brief

Trump Says Russian Disinformation is a Threat to the US

President Donald Trump’s new national security strategy zeros in on Russian disinformation as a growing threat to U.S. national security.

Announced on Monday, the document says the Kremlin uses disinformation techniques to undermine democracies and transatlantic unity as well as to influence public opinion in countries it targets.

There is no mention though of the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, an issue that continues to dog President Trump and his administration.

The Trump administration also outlines tactics its says Russia employs, including using covert intelligence and false online personas, mixed with state-funded media and paid social media “trolls.”

Unlike the last national security strategy, released by the Obama administration in 2015, the Trump version does not say anything about how the United States would respond to Russian disinformation operations.

Nicholas Burns, a former high-ranking U.S. diplomat, tweeted that Trump’s weakness on Russia and NATO over the last 12 months is “more revealing” than his new security strategy.

For its part, Russia called the new strategy “imperial,” but said it appreciated sections calling for “cooperation” in areas of mutual interest.