The Guardian today has a document that may be from the uppermost reaches of the Russian government and purports to describe a meeting of Vladimir Putin’s security council in closed session.
The meeting was on January 22, 2016, and in it, Putin gave instructions to his spy agencies to support Donald Trump’s run for the presidency of the US.
Caution is due to these claims. The Guardian article itself is cautious, although it notes that Guardian reporters have validated the document to a limited degree. A meeting of the security council took place on that day. Experts have looked at the document and find it not obviously fraudulent.
There is a brief psychological assessment of Trump, who is described as an “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex”.
There is also apparent confirmation that the Kremlin possesses kompromat, or potentially compromising material, on the future president, collected – the document says – from Trump’s earlier “non-official visits to Russian Federation territory”.
The paper refers to “certain events” that happened during Trump’s trips to Moscow. Security council members are invited to find details in appendix five, at paragraph five, the document states. It is unclear what the appendix contains.
“It is acutely necessary to use all possible force to facilitate his [Trump’s] election to the post of US president,” the paper says.
This document fits quite snugly into a narrative about Russian interference in the 2016 election. That could mean that, whether or not the material in it is true, it is part of a Russian disinformation operation.
Others on Twitter are urging caution.
That last thread doesn’t necessarily prove it’s a forgery. People mess up their writing in all languages.
There’s nothing definitive about the authenticity of the documents or whether they’re fakes. The Guardian might make more information available about how they got them, which could point to disinformation motives.
I suspect this one never will be fully clear by itself. It will be another case of people believing what they want to.