aside Russian Trolls Helped President Trump Win And They Left A Wide Trail

It’s bad enough that we all know that Russian operatives under the direction of the Kremlin attached our US democratic elections’ process in 2016 to where they are continuing their subterfuge in today’s times. The FBI and DOJ heads publicly announced on February 16, 2018,  that grand jury indictments charged 13 Russian nationals and Russian entities for their meddling in the 2016 presidential elections with the goal of sowing chaos and divisions among the American peoples and to influence the outcome.

The trail that the Russians blazed were relatively easy to confirm. After reading the DOJ’s indictments, it does raise questions as to how the republican President Donald Trump with his sycophants in the US Congress and the far right wing media could ever have doubted Russia’s involvement in messing big time with US politics.

Here is the rest of the story…

On February 17, 2018, Julian Sanchez for the New York Times penned the following commentary, “Russia Wanted Trump To Win. And It Wanted To Get Caught.

Excerpts:

“It’s a Hollywood cliché that’s been adopted by villains from the trickster god Loki in Marvel’s “The Avengers” to James Bond’s “Skyfall” nemesis Raoul Silva: They are captured, only for the heroes to realize — too late! — that being caught was part of the villain’s evil plan all along. With Friday’s release of an indictment detailing Project Lakhta — the information operations component of Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election — it’s worth asking whether President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has been reading from a similar script.”

“The charging document released by the Justice Department names 13 Russian nationals associated with the innocuous-sounding “Internet Research Agency,” a team of well-funded professional trolls who carried out a disinformation campaign that spread from social media to real-world rallies. If there were any lingering doubts that Russia’s intervention was aimed at harming Hillary Clinton’s campaign and bolstering Donald Trump’s, an internal directive quoted in the indictment spells it out explicitly: “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them).”

DAMON WINTER/ NY TIMES

“That Russia should have preferred Mr. Trump’s victory to Mrs. Clinton’s is hardly a surprise: The real estate mogul had long been open in his fawning admiration for autocratic leaders generally and Mr. Putin in particular. But in any game of strategy, the best moves are those that accomplish multiple objectives. Friday’s (2/16/18) indictment should serve as a reminder that Project Latkha didn’t merely aim to influence the outcome of the election, but also its tone, and Americans’ attitudes toward their own democratic institutions.”

There’s a critical back story to Russia’s interference: A longstanding Kremlin grudge against Mrs. Clinton, cemented in 2011 when, as secretary of state, she cast doubt on whether Russia’s parliamentary elections, plagued by allegations of fraud and vote rigging, had been “free and fair.”

ILLUSTRATION BY JOE MAGEE

“The bulk of the Russian team’s online trolling efforts were directed at Mrs. Clinton, but the indictment notes that they also took aim at other Republican candidates; Mr. Trump, Bernie Sanders and the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, were spared. The trio had something more than opposition to Mrs. Clinton in common: A central theme of their campaigns was that the American political system is fundamentally rigged — the same claim that had so incensed Mr. Putin.”

“This same theme crops up in many of the Russian front groups’ attacks: “Hillary Clinton has already committed voter fraud during the Democrat Iowa caucus,” one social media post declared. One of the more memorable stunts the Russian team sponsored — hiring an American to attend rallies dressed as Mrs. Clinton in prison garb, toting an ersatz jail cell — fits the same pattern: She had to be cast not merely as an inferior candidate, but as a criminal who could win only through corruption.”

“In hindsight, it’s natural to think that Russia’s primary aim was to achieve the upset Trump victory we now know occurred. But if they were relying on the same polls as the rest of the world, they would have regarded that as a long-shot. It seems at least as likely that they hoped a strong showing would position a defeated Mr. Trump as a thorn in Mrs. Clinton’s side, casting a pall over the legitimacy of her administration by fuming publicly about how he had been cheated. (They probably could not have imagined that Mr. Trump would do this even in victory, insisting without any evidence that he had lost the popular vote only because of voter fraud.)”

“If we run with the hypothesis that Russia’s core goal was to sow doubt about the integrity and fairness of American elections — and, by implication, erode the credibility of any criticism aimed at Russia’s — then the ultimate exposure of their interference may well have been viewed not as frustrating that aim but as one more perverse way of advancing it.”

“Similar logic might account for Russian cyberattacks on many state voter registration systems — first reported in June and more recently confirmed by Department of Homeland Security officials. There’s a consensus among cybersecurity experts that our unusually decentralized electoral system would make it extraordinarily difficult to surreptitiously change the result of a national election via hacking from abroad. But that might not be necessary: An attack might succeed just by creating widespread uncertainty.”

“United States intelligence officials themselves have voiced suspicions that Russia intended to be caught. “They were unusually loud in their intervention,” James Comey, the former F.B.I. director, told Congress at a hearing last March. “

“If this sounds plausible, we should also consider that our political response, too, may have been part of the plan. With President Trump dutifully refusing to implement retaliatory sanctions imposed on Russia by a large bipartisan majority in Congress, legislators have begun eyeing the online platforms on which so much disinformation spread. “You created these platforms,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, railed at a panel of lawyers for Google, Facebook and Twitter in November, “and now they’re being misused. And you have to be the ones who do something about it — or we will.”

“That would be a final irony, and an unpleasant one. No less than our “meddling” in their internal elections, Russia has long resented United States criticism of the country’s repressive approach to online speech. Their use of online platforms to tamper with our presidential race reads not only as an attack, but as an implicit argument: “The freedoms you trumpet so loudly, your unwillingness to regulate political speech on the internet, your tolerance for anonymity — all these are weaknesses, which we’ll prove by exploiting them.”

“Urgent as it is for the United States to take measures to prevent similar meddling in the next election, we should be careful that our response doesn’t constitute a tacit agreement.”

9 comments

  1. Gronda, when I hear two things about Russian influence from various folks I have the same basic response. First, when I hear it did not impact the election, my response is simple – of course, if did. Trump was as surprised he won as every one else. And, he barely won. Making Sanders and Stein fans just mad enough to not vote or vote Trump turned the tide. Plus reading daily from your opponent’s emails took a toll. Yes, she was imperfect, but she was never as bad as the piñata created that Trump ran against.

    The second is Trump saying there is no collusion. This is the same man who was officially just proven wrong that the Russian thing is not a hoax and who had changed his story multiple times. It is the same guy who still does not sanction Russia and responds not to the attack but to say it clears him. To say there is no collusion does not seem to be correct given the reactions and lying. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      Of course Russia’s interference pushed President over the finish line. They weren’t paying millions of dollars to mess with US politics for nothing.

      I keep hearing the word collusion. I like words like conspiracy. I have no doubt that President Trump is a Russian asset. Just like the Mafia owns anyone indebted to them, Russia is no different.

      My suspicions have been for months that the president accepted Russia’s help in exchange for him going easy on sanctions against Russia.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda, I find it hard to believe the President is not compromised by Russia. If it turns out he is not, I will be truly surprised. His lack of concern over the Mueller indictments is just one more example of guilt in my view. The Senate voted 98 to 2 to sanction Russian and yet he fails to act. Keith

  2. Dear Mz. Gronda,

    Unlike many other people, IMO the Russian influence in our election did have a direct effect on the vote totals for tRump and against Hillary. I have little doubt that the physical manipulation of the election process and not just the social media portion had an major effect in causing people to cast votes that were questionable at best. I am firmly convinced that this much smoke means that there was a very large fire, and not just a few smoldering embers..

    One of the key parts that has not received much mention on the main line press, but has been questioned to a degree on the dark webb is the Mercer connection to the manipulation of the vote. I’ll post a couple of links, that while the source is not what I would consider the most reliable, it is one that does offer some extremely valid observations and some relatively accurate data, as to how it took place…

    http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-campaign-data-russia-cambridge-analytica-2017-10

    http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-russia-data-fake-accounts-2017-10

    Please note: While I have not discovered a solid link between Internet Research Agency and Cambridge Analytical, and the Mercers, there are a lot of similarities in their prime operating methods that bear looking at..

    • Dear Crustolemothman,

      I have used Business Insider as a resource. Technically Cambridge Analytica is a foreign owned UK company, owner by Mercers.

      As you know the admissions by the US government has evolved over time. Without a recount/ auditing procedure in place, we will never know for sure if votes were manipulated in November 2016. I have no doubt Russia edged the president into victory.

      I remember this story. As per Wikipedia, “A 2015 BBC investigation identified the Olgino factory (Internet Research Agency) as the most likely producer of a September 2015 “Saiga 410K review” video where an actor posing as U.S. soldier shoots at a book that turns out to be a Quran, which sparked outrage. The BBC found among other irregularities that the soldier’s uniform is not used by the U.S. military and is easily purchased in Russia, and that the actor filmed was most likely a barman from Saint Petersburg related to a troll factory employee.

      The Internet Research Agency has been associated with the name Concord. Somehow Cambridge Analytica is part of this mess.

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. Dear Crustyolemothman,

    Thanks for sharing this marvelous video. I agree it is a much watch. I did post this video on my post, “The President Blames FBI Focus On Trump-Russia Saga For Florida Mass Shooting.”

    But readers can listen to Ms. Emma Gonzalez from here.

    Thanks again, and Hugs, Gronda

  4. Interesting how both sides spin the same story. Now the right claims Michael Moore is a paid Russian troll interfering in fair and honest elections!

    This is why I examine both sides and discount all the ridiculous spin the media produce for public consumption. Most of the news is partisan commentary and has no basis in fact.

    On Sunday, Trump tweeted out this warning to Americans —

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump
    If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!

    8:11 AM – Feb 18, 2018
    116K

    https://thehornnews.com/liberal-russian-trolls/

    • Dear 1EarthUnited,

      I respectfully disagree with the premise about Michael Moore who as a US citizen would be paid by Russia to troll anything.
      He doesn’t need the money.

      Frankly, I can’t buy your entire premise. I do not find the Horn News a reliable source.

      To be blunt it is not illegal for a US citizen to troll anything but it is for Russian National to do this with the intent to interfere with US elections.

      The president is asking us to be smart to where the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe is ended. This is not going to happen.

      Hugs, Gronda

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