Did Russia influence the 2016 presidential election?
via AP

Did Russia influence the 2016 presidential election?

#RussiaElectedTrump
#DontBlameRussia
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Intelligence agencies reported in January the Kremlin sought to manipulate public opinion and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election through sophisticated hacking operationsDemocrats worry Russia tipped the scales in favor of Donald Trump. Now, FBI Director James Comey confirms the bureau is investigating any possible links to the Trump campaign. Republicans say there's no way to prove that, and people are just making excuses for losing the election. What do you think? 🇷🇺

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#RussiaElectedTrump
#DontBlameRussia

The margin by which Clinton lost was so tiny—77,744 votes—that many argue Russian interference tipped the scales for Trump:

Clinton received 3 million more votes than Trump and lost the Electoral College by the mere 77,744 votes that cost her the previously blue states of Michigan (which she lost by .2 of a percentage point), Wisconsin (.8 point), and Pennsylvania (.7 point).
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Critics say there is no way to prove Russian interference actually tipped the election towards Trump. Russian operatives did not actually hack our election system and change ballots. You can't quantify how much hacking the DNC or online Russian propaganda actually affected the election.

It seems a difficult task to prove the hacks somehow “affected the election” or “helped Donald Trump win.” For example:
One would have to show that tens of thousands of Trump voters were planning to vote for Clinton but changed their mind based solely on the WikiLeaks emails.
One would have to show that tens of thousands of Trump voters were planning to vote for Clinton but changed their mind based solely on the WikiLeaks emails.
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Many say that without the dump of DNC emails, which were given to WikiLeaks by Russian operatives, Hillary Clinton would've been elected.

Trump, after all, won by a margin of about 80,000 votes cast across three states, winning each of the decisive states by less than one percentage point. So even a slight influence could have plausibly made the difference.

But others call it a ridiculous conspiracy theory.

What isn't in doubt is that Russia wanted Trump elected and actively worked to undermine the Clinton campaign, though the degree to which the Kremlin succeeded in changing the outcome is still being debated.

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