Senate Intel Finds SURPRISE, Trump Got A Big Boost From His Pal Putin
The Senate Intelligence Committee issued the second installment of its report on interference in the 2016 election. This edition was subtitled "Russia's Use of Social Media," and SPOILER ALERT, the committee agreed with everyone outside the Wingnut Bubble that it was the Russians. We don't know who needs to hear this, but:
The Committee found that the IRA [Internet Research Agency] sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election by harming Hillary Clinton's chances of success and supporting Donald Trump at the direction of the Kremlin.
LOL, we're kidding! We know exactly who needs to hear it, and it's Trump's Attorney General Bill Barr, who spent last week in Italy chasing down nutty professor Joseph Mifsud in an effort to prove that HILLARY CLINTON IS THE REAL COLLUSION because ...
A Deep State cabal of Western governments planted Joseph Mifsud to tell the ever-honest and courageous young Trump volunteer George Papadopoulos that the Russians had Hillary Clinton's emails. That was a setup to get him to blab it to the Australian ambassador. And then the Australians fed it to the FBI, who used it as a pretext to get the US government to start an investigation of the Trump campaign, who never had nothing to do with Russia. Which the FBI concealed until AFTER the election, obviously. But the Russian hack thing was just a cover story because actually someone in Hillary Clinton's shop leaked the emails, probably Seth Rich. Which is why Hillary Clinton had him killed. And the DNC server was never taken by the FBI, it was instead smuggled to Ukraine. And those wily Ukrainians were always in the tank for Hillary, which is why they told all those lies about poor Paul Manafort taking dirty money from an oligarch. It's kind of hard to follow, but anyway ... NO COLLUSION.
This is your brain on Fox News.
But apparently the Senate Intel Committee's Democratic Vice Chairman Mark Warner hid the remote from Republican Intel Chair Richard Burr, which is how they managed to agree that the Intelligence Community Assessment from January 2017 was correct that "Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency." And the committee went even further, saying explicitly that the Russians' goal was to get Donald Trump elected by flooding social media with anti-Clinton propaganda: "the Committee found that IRA social media activity was overtly and almost invariably supportive of then-candidate Trump, and to the detriment of Secretary Clinton's campaign."
And the order to ratfuck our election came straight from the top.
Despite Moscow's denials, the direction and financial involvement of Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin, as well as his close ties to high-level Russian government officials including President Vladimir Putin, point to significant Kremlin support, authorization, and direction of the IRA' s operations and goals.
Not the Chinese. Not some 400-lb hacker on his bed. Vladimir Putin interfered in the American electoral process explicitly to help Donald Trump get elected. Which is why his surprise victory in November 2016 was greeted with champagne toasts all over Moscow. He's their guy.
The Committee found that the Russians flooded Facebook and YouTube with inflammatory memes on guns, race, and immigration. African Americans were systematically targeted with misinformation in an attempt to depress black turnout for Hillary Clinton.
The Committee found that no single group of Americans was targeted by IRA information operatives more than African-Americans. By far, race and related issues were the preferred target of the information warfare campaign designed to divide the country in 2016. Evidence of the IRA's overwhelming operational emphasis on race is evident in the IRA's Facebook advertisement content (over 66 percent contained a term related to race) and targeting (locational targeting was principally aimed at African Americans in key metropolitan areas), its Facebook pages (one of the IRA's top performing pages, "Blacktivist," generated 11.2 million engagements with Facebook users), its Instagram content (five of the top 10 Instagram accounts were focused on African-American issues and audiences), its Twitter content (heavily focused on hot button issues with racial undertones, such as the NFL kneeling protests), and its YouTube activity (96 percent of the IRA's YouTube content was targeted at racial issues and police· brutality).
They also agreed with the IC's finding that the Russians -- NOT THE UKRAINIANS, NOT SETH RICH -- hacked John Podesta and the DNC's emails and timed the publication to deliberately inflict maximal damage on Hillary Clinton's campaign.
So now that we've got that settled, Sean Hannity and the rest of the loons will stop flogging that shit about the DNC hack being an inside job ... NEVER.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.