While this may seem counterintuitive, Mr. Hoffman claimed that Mr. Putin’s ultimate desire for election meddling was to create systemic chaos within the U.S., not necessarily to help Donald Trump become President. The Russian President’s ultimate goal is to despoil American democracy.
Asked about Donald Trump’s meeting with the Kremlin-connected attorney, Mr. Hoffmain said:
“I believe this was indeed a Kremlin operation. I see this more as an attempted influence operation rather than traditional intelligence collection. The Russians at the meeting were not intelligence collectors, but they were suitable, from the Kremlin’s perspective, for an influence operation.
The presence of Rinat Akhmetshin, who reportedly served in the Soviet military does not appear to be a coincidence. Akhmetshin would lend credence to the Kremlin’s strategy of creating the impression of Russian government involvement from a distance, and add a measure of intrigue, given he served in the Soviet military. President Putin and his spokespeople might deny any official Russian government involvement but with a wink and a nod. Putin really does want the trail to lead back to the Kremlin because he knows any inkling of Russian government influence or interference would soil our electoral process.
Notwithstanding Akhmetshin’s presence, I still believe this meeting was designed primarily to influence our electoral process.”