So what makes America look worse on the world stage: the assertion that a foreign government “hacked” our presidential election, or the lie that one did?

Annie Machon, former intelligence agent for the British MI5, tells RT that the latter is what happened.

“This is very much a case of fake news, shall we say. It seems to serve two ends as well,” Machon says.

“On the day when the ceasefire is announced, which has been brokered by Russia and Turkey – this is a story that will run and run in America, not the ceasefire in Syria. It’s all going to be about these Russians, and hacking the election and things like that. I think this is the first stage – this is why it was announced that the Russian diplomats were going to be expelled,” she says.

“On the second point as well, it is a mass expulsion – 35 diplomats being thrown out of the country with no proof, with no sort of real intelligence. I think that has also been done to gain the idea, to solidify in public’s mind in America that actually Russia was involved in hacking the election.

“Where has that phrase evolved from? We don’t know. It was originally just hacking the DNC [Democratic National Committee] e-mails. So I think it is a sort of two-pronged attack that has been carried out; that has been carefully announced today to achieve that,” she says.

“One further point from that in terms of trying to solidify the fact that the Russians interfered in the democratic process of America – is part of this ongoing process to try to undermine the legitimacy of the election of Donald Trump – the next president,” according to Machon.

Machon pointed out the U.S. Department of Homeland Security effectively wouldn’t stand behind its own claims.

A disclaimer on the ranalysis reads, “This report is provided ‘as is’ for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.”

The former intel agent says the agency, along with the FBI, is just “covering their backs.”

“They know it’s much rubbish…they are trying to blind people with science, but there’s no real evidence,” she says, adding the lack of warranty from the DHS about the claims “points to the fact that it is pure propaganda and they know it.”

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