Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a spy plan to put Donald Trump in the White House, leaked documents suggest.
The papers, seen by The Guardian, cited documents from the Kremlin that underscored the depth of Russia's involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.
The leaked documents claim Putin met with his top intelligence officials and senior ministers in January 2016, where they decided to support a "mentally unstable" Trump, The Guardian said.
The spy chiefs agreed that a Trump presidency would help secure Moscow's strategic goals, including "social turmoil" in the U.S. as well as weakening Trump's negotiating power, the Kremlin papers suggest.
According to the British newspaper, the papers indicate Putin greenlit the plan in a closed security meeting around 10 months before the U.S. election.
Described as "No 32-04\vd," the document painted Trump as an "impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex."
"It is acutely necessary to use all possible force to facilitate his (Trump's) election to the post of U.S. president," the document says.
The papers suggest Russia had unspecified "kompromat," or potentially compromising material about Trump, the 45th American president.
The papers also set out various measures the Kremlin could set in place in response to what it views as "hostile acts" from the U.S.
While the authenticity of the documents has not been officially established, it has been seen by independent experts who say they appear to be genuine, The Guardian said.
The Kremlin denied the report. Dmitri Peskov, Putin's representative, said the idea that Russian spy officials had met and agreed to back Trump was "a great pulp fiction," The Guardian said.