Tamir Pardo, former head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, has claimed that Russian cyber-meddling helped influence the 2016 US presidential elections in favour of current US President Donald Trump, Israeli daily Haaretz reported Tuesday.
According to Pardo, Russia chose the candidate most “politically advantageous” to it and used online “bots” to catapult Trump into the presidency.
“Russia deployed tens of thousands of bots to influence the… elections in favour of Trump,” Haaretz quoted him as saying.
He added: “They took a look at the political map in Washington, and thought, ‘Which candidate would we like to have sitting in the White House? Who will help us achieve our goals?’ And they chose him.”
From that moment on, Pardo asserted, “they deployed a system [of bots] for the duration of the elections, and ran him for president”.
Several US intelligence sources have claimed that Russian spy agencies interfered in the 2016 election.
Notably, Pardo’s claims come shortly after Trump announced his decision to withdraw all US troops from Syria — a move described by many Israeli analysts as a “major blow” to Tel Aviv’s regional position.