Raise your hand if you are surprised by this. Reuters reports today that a Kremlin-backed “think tank” came up with a plan to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential race in Donald Trump’s favor. It was distributed to the “highest levels of the Russian government.”

Talking Points Memo reports:

A handful of current and former U.S. officials told Reuters that the first document, compiled by the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies in June, urged the Kremlin to wage a propaganda war on social media and state-backed media outlets promoting a U.S. candidate who supported better relations with Russia. Another paper, released in October when pundits and polls were predicting a Hillary Clinton victory, argued in favor of promoting claims about voter fraud to stoke questions about the legitimacy of the election results.

President Vladimir Putin’s office appoints the retired Russian intelligence officials who work at the institute, according to Reuters.

Oddly enough, the Kremlin denies any involvement in the election, and — wouldn’t you know it? Neither the Institute or the Kremlin would comment on the Reuters report.

Doggone it, anyway!