America Must Confront the Reality That Russia Helped Elect Trump
Russia waged a sophisticated and systematic propaganda campaign to damage Hillary Clinton and boost Donald Trump, leading to his Electoral College victory. While it is exceptionally difficult to isolate a single determinative factor in the outcome of a presidential election, the evidence that Russia had a tangible impact is overwhelming and incontrovertible, with disturbing new details emerging by the week. That includes growing evidence of electoral system hacking.
The scale and scope of Russia’s efforts is mind-boggling: social media ads, thousands of professional trolls, bots spreading false stories, email hacking, weaponizing WikiLeaks, highly suspicious contact with the Trump campaign, and much more.
From 6 identified Russian Facebook fronts: 340 million shares, 19 million user interactions. From 6 accounts. https://t.co/edWdw8h3Nd
WP: Pinterest acknowledges the site became a repository for 1000s of political posts created by Russian operatives. https://t.co/5lbEpIZRJ5
WOW. Russians even used Pokémon Go in their influence campaign aimed at exploiting racial tensions in America. https://t.co/7HdaliSdsR
In the words of a computer security expert quoted by McClatchy, Russia conducted a “cyber Pearl Harbor.” To suggest that no votes were impacted by Russian intrusion is to defy common sense. If one mind was changed, if one voter was turned against Clinton, Russian interference altered the outcome. The implications are grave: The sitting U.S. president is in office partly because a hostile foreign power intervened on his behalf.
This is not a partisan issue. Anyone who cares about the integrity of U.S. elections and about the fairness and legitimacy of the outcome should vociferously reject Russia’s cyberattack on American democracy. And anyone who thinks the intrusion ended in 2016 is dangerously mistaken.
WaPo:Manafort offered to give Russian billionaire ‘private briefings’ on 2016 campaign https://t.co/dyoVGJ8Acq
For all the talk of aides, one q is clearly driving Mueller to push so hard, so fast: has POTUS himself been compromised by a foreign power.
June 9, 2016: Russians met Manafort, Kushner, Don Jr July 7: Manafort offers private briefing July 27: Trump: “Russia, if you’re listening” https://t.co/rEcgYa2ILE
Mueller has requested records on: -Flynn firing -Comey firing -Trump’s WH meeting w/ Russians -The misleading Trump Tower meeting statement https://t.co/8u1AzSCXEv
Russiagate has long felt like a footrace between a Manafort indictment and a Flynn indictment, with Jared and Don Jr. in the wings.
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) September 19, 2017
In a sense, the Russia story that’s so enveloping Washington today actually started last July, when the FBI opened an investigation into Moscow’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. Now, roughly one year later, that investigation is still open, and lawmakers in both chambers of Congress are conducting inquiries of their own.
It’s been tough to keep track of all the allegations, counter-allegations, denials, revelations, leaks, and tweets surrounding the connections between Russia, the 2016 election, and President Donald Trump’s administration. Here’s a quick guide to what we know (and what we don’t). So, did Russia interfere in the 2016 election?
The batch of more than 3,000 Russian-bought ads that Facebook is preparing to turn over to Congress shows a deep understanding of social divides in American society, with some ads promoting African-American rights groups including Black Lives Matter and others suggesting that these same groups pose a rising political threat, say people familiar with the covert influence campaign.
WARNER tells me committee will probe “million-dollar question:” whether Russia had help in targeting Facebook ads.
Special counsel’s Russia’s investigation has cast a wide net for documents. Could they include the “Spicer files?” @MajorCBS investigates. https://t.co/ASeOojrKb5
Since last month, researchers at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan initiative of the German Marshall Fund, a public policy research group in Washington, have been publicly tracking 600 Twitter accounts – human users and suspected bots alike – they have linked to Russian influence operations.
Takeaways from Burr and Warner’s Senate Intel briefing on Trump-Russia: -Initial inquiry “has expanded” -“Issue of collusion is still open
Most Important Takeaway: After conducting 100 interviews and reviewing 100K documents, the Senate Intel Committee is “expanding” the Russia inquiry and still looking into “possible collusion.