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RUSSIA IS THE ENEMY OF AMERICA

#PutinsGOP Exposes How Republicans Are Closely Tied to Russia and the Kremlin

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Remember when Trump revealed “code word” classified information to his Russian visitors, or last year when eight GOP lawmakers spent the 4th of July in Moscow?

Right now on Twitter #PutinsGOP is among the top trending topics. Its goal, apparently, is to expose and highlight the close ties some top Republicans have with the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Remember, Russia is an enemy of the United States. Most Americans agree on that. Russia attacked our election with the intent to sow discord and later, to install Donald Trump as president. That’s per the U.S. government’s intelligence community.

Many of the #PutinsGOP tweets cite proven news stories.

Like the eight Republicans who spent the 4th of July in Moscow last year, meeting with Russian officials.

In case you’re skeptical, here’s Dana Milbank, veteran Washington Post journalist, writing about the visit last year:

“What does July 4th mean to me? Freedom,” Sen. Ron Johnson chirruped on Twitter on Independence Day.

For the Wisconsin Republican, it meant, specifically, the freedom to spend July 4 in Moscow with seven other Republican lawmakers posing for propaganda photos with Russian officials. On the same day it was reported in Britain that two more people had been poisoned by a Russian nerve agent British officials say came from Vladimir Putin’s regime. On the day after the Senate Intelligence Committee affirmed the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the election to help Donald Trump.

Johnson and his colleagues apparently exercised their freedom not to meet with opposition or civil society figures (those whom the Putin regime has not imprisoned or killed), avoiding the risk of offending their hosts. They also exercised their freedom to soft-pedal their criticism of the Russian government, leading Russian politicians and state media to mock them as supplicants.

Or Donald Trump, Jr., bragging about his and the Trump Organization’s business dealings with Russia.

Or, Donald Trump himself, talking about his business dealings with Russia:

There’s this tweet which refers to Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) delivering a letter from President trump to President Putin. Here’s the story from Politico back in August of 2018. It also links to a CNN story about a sanctioned Russian corporate giant “investing $200 million in a Kentucky mill.”

And, of course, these photos. The unprecedented act by President Donald Trump of inviting Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov into the Oval Office, with no Secret Service present. It was then Trump told the Russians he had fired “nut job” FBI Director Jim Comey, saying it relieved “great pressure” for him.

During that Oval Office visit Trump revealed “code word” classified information to his Russian visitors.

And who can forget this disturbing story from 2016?

 

 

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RUSSIA IS THE ENEMY OF AMERICA

Russian Trolls Engaged in Massive Campaign Against ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ to Undermine US Society

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Goals included support of “extreme right-wing causes and the discrimination of gender, race or sexuality.”

Just like the 2016 presidential election, 2017’s release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was marred by a massive campaign designed to further undermine American society – a campaign that included Russian trolls, according to new research from the University of Southern California. The study shows that the majority of negative tweets sent to the film’s director were “politically motivated,” or “not even human” – in other words, Russian bots.

A research paper by Morten Bay, “Weaponizing the haters: The Last Jedi and the strategic politicization of pop culture through social media manipulation,” reveals the goal: “further propagating a narrative of widespread discord and dysfunction in American society,” as The Hill reported.

Included in that goal was the support of “extreme right-wing causes and the discrimination of gender, race or sexuality.”

When the film was released in December of 2017, news outlets quickly seized on what seemed to be obvious friction and supposed outrage.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – the most divisive film ever?” asked BBC News.

How ‘The Last Jedi’ became the most divisive Star Wars movie yet,” The Washington Post reported.

Calling the film “unexpectedly polarizing,” Vox ran a story titled, “The ‘backlash’ against Star Wars: The Last Jedi, explained.”

“What the hell is going on here?” the article asked. It did not answer with “Russian bots.”

The abstract of Bay’s paper reveals “evidence of deliberate, organized political influence measures disguised as fan arguments,” and Russia’s disturbing intentions, including an alignment with the “alt-right.”

“The study finds evidence of deliberate, organized political influence measures disguised as fan arguments. The likely objective of these measures is increasing media coverage of the fandom conflict, thereby adding to and further propagating a narrative of widespread discord and dysfunction in American society. Persuading voters of this narrative remains a strategic goal for the U.S. alt-right movement, as well as the Russian Federation.”

“The results of the study show that among those who address The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson directly on Twitter to express their dissatisfaction, more than half are bots, trolls/sock puppets or political activists using the debate to propagate political messages supporting extreme right-wing causes and the discrimination of gender, race or sexuality. A number of these users appear to be Russian trolls.”

Image by Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr and a CC license

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“Unite The Right” rally a subject of Russian meddling? This Rep says yes.

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Representative Tom Garrett

The Republican congressman representing Charlottesville, Virginia made stunning claims about the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” of white nationalists.

Rep. Tom Garrett, Jr. (R-VA) is former assistant attorney general serving his first term in Congress. In May, Rep. Garrett announced he would not seek reelection.

“Let me give you breaking news here, back to Charlottesville,” he told CNN anchor Ryan Nobles.

“I sat in a closed session briefing — probably two months ago — about Charlottesville, with the director of the FBI amongst others, and asked if Russian intermeddling had do with fomenting the flames of what happened in Charlottesville,” he said.

“I was told, ‘Yes, it did.’ I was asked if this was classified, they said, ‘No, it is not.’ I waited until today,” he explained.

“This is what happens, Russian intermeddling is seeking to pit Americans against under Americans to undermine confidence in western style democracies, it’s done so in Baltic states, it’s done so in western Europe, it will continue to do so,” Garrett continued.

“They’re trying to make the world safer for kleptocrats and oligarchs and dictators like Putin and they use things like this racial divisive fight — which ignores the commonalities we as Americans have with each other, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion — this is the sort of thing they do,” he continued.

“As a member of Homeland Security, seriously that’s what scares me most,” he concluded.

Watch:

 

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RUSSIA IS THE ENEMY OF AMERICA

Russia Is Hacking a Top Democratic Senator in Blatant Attempt to Keep the Senate Red

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Last week President Donald Trump said Russia is no longer attacking America’s elections. This week he said he is concerned that Russia will interfere in this year’s elections, to help Democrats.

Tell all that to Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, a highly-respected but highly-vulnerable Senator seeking re-election in a highly-conservative state, in November.

“The Russian intelligence agency behind the 2016 election cyberattacks targeted Sen. Claire McCaskill as she began her 2018 re-election campaign in earnest,” The Daily Beast reports, citing its own forensic analysis. “That makes the Missouri Democrat the first identified target of the Kremlin’s 2018 election interference.”

“McCaskill, who has been highly critical of Russia over the years, is widely considered to be among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats facing re-election this year as Republicans hope to hold their slim majority in the Senate. In 2016, President Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by almost 20 points in the senator’s home state of Missouri,” The Daily beast notes.

Why?

“McCaskill has spoken out forcefully against Moscow, likening Russian election-meddling to ‘a form of warfare’ and calling Putin a thug and a bully.”

And if you’re wondering if this is another, “Russia, if you’re listening,” issue, The Daily Beast reports the hacking attempt occurred in August of 2017. “around the time of the hack attempt, Trump traveled to Missouri and chided McCaskill, telling the crowd to ‘vote her out of office.'”

 

Image by Kjetil Korslien via Flickr and a CC license

 

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