Who do you trust more: Russia or the U.S. Senate? | The Tylt
Who do you trust more: Russia or the U.S. Senate?
The report, first detailed by the Washington Post, is nothing if not thorough. The researchers explained that they worked against consistent obfuscation by social media sites to provide the most accurate and comprehensive information possible. The report is unequivocal in its language and conclusions.
“What is clear is that all of the messaging clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party — and specifically Donald Trump,” the report says. “Trump is mentioned most in campaigns targeting conservatives and right-wing voters, where the messaging encouraged these groups to support his campaign. The main groups that could challenge Trump were then provided messaging that sought to confuse, distract and ultimately discourage members from voting.”
The report offers the latest evidence that Russian agents sought to help Trump win the White House. Democrats and Republicans on the panel previously studied the U.S. intelligence community’s 2017 finding that Moscow aimed to assist Trump, and in July, they said investigators had come to the correct conclusion. Despite their work, some Republicans on Capitol Hill continue to doubt the nature of Russia’s interference in the last presidential election.
...The Russians aimed particular energy at activating conservatives on issues such as gun rights and immigration, while sapping the political clout of left-leaning African American voters by undermining their faith in elections and spreading misleading information about how to vote. Many other groups — Latinos, Muslims, Christians, gay men and women, liberals, Southerners, veterans — got at least some attention from Russians operating thousands of social media accounts.
...Researchers also noted that the data includes evidence of sloppiness by the Russians that could have led to earlier detection, including the use of Russia’s currency, the ruble, to buy ads and Russian phone numbers for contact information. The operatives also left behind technical signatures in computerized logs, such as Internet addresses in St. Petersburg, where the [Internet Research Agency, or] IRA was based.
Despite this deluge of damning information, Russian officials seem completely flummoxed by the report. According to Newsweek, the official statement from a Kremlin spokesperson was confusion and frustration.
Russian government spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday rejected the findings of two reports commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee that detail the extent of Russia’s influence operations on social media, including efforts to discourage African-American voters from showing up to the polls.
The reports provided granular detail about the influence operations, but Peskov, nevertheless, expressed confusion.
"What I read about this report in public access can arouse nothing but misunderstanding…It voices some general claims and accusations, and some of them are absolutely unclear for us. They reproach us that someone criticizes the situation in the US social sector, but it does not say how this is linked to Russia," Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.
"We believe that these are absolutely unfounded claims. The Russian state and the Russian government have nothing to do with any meddling, let alone with this abstract kind of meddling,” he continued.