Last night we brought you the story of the Russian computer hacker who had just been arrested by authorities in Spain. What made Pyotr Levashov’s arrest notable is that Kremlin-funded TV propaganda news outlet Russia Today quickly reported that he was accused of having rigged the U.S. presidential election. This claim was not reported anywhere else, and still has not been. But now Russia Today is taking its claims even further, asserting that Levashov has confessed to his wife that he rigged the election in Donald Trump’s favor.
Russia Today cannot be counted on as a reliable news source due to its direct allegiance to the Kremlin. However it can be used to assess the Kremlin’s motives. Up to now Russia has largely tried to pretend that it didn’t intefere in the U.S. election. But now that Levashov has been arrested, it’s preemptively trying to pin the election hacking crime on him.
So what’s Vladimir Putin really up to with all of this sudden spin? If Levashov was indeed one of the hackers the Kremlin used to hack the election, and he’s been caught, it may be fingering him in an attempt to divert attention from any of his co-conspirators who may still be at large. France 24 has the full details regarding Russia Today’s claims about Levashov (link). It’s clear that he’s either a key figure in the election hacking, or the Kremlin wants the world to think he is.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report