A just-released report from the Republican-majority Senate Intelligence Committee reveals the social media attacks on the 2016 U.S. election that placed Donald Trump in the White House were performed “at the direction of the Kremlin.” That report also finds that not only did the Kremlin work to ensure Hillary Clinton lost the election, but that Donald Trump won the Republican Party’s nomination in the primaries.
“The Senate panel cited the ‘close-ties’ of Yevgeny Prigozhin,” who is the director of the Russian Internet Research Agency, “to Russian President Vladimir Putin as evidence of ‘significant Kremlin support, authorization, and direction of the IRA’s operations and goals,'” The Hill reports.
The Kremlin’s social media disinformation campaigns were part of a “broader, sophisticated, and ongoing information warfare campaign designed to sow discord in American politics and society,” the Senate report states.
But that report also finds that the attacks on the 2016 election by Putin’s associates did not stop after the election of Donald Trump. In fact, after the 2016 election, they increased.
“Russia is waging an information warfare campaign against the U.S. that didn’t start and didn’t end with the 2016 election,” Intel Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) said.
He addd that Russia’s goal is now “broader: to sow societal discord and erode public confidence in the machinery of government. By flooding social media with false reports, conspiracy theories, and trolls, and by exploiting existing divisions, Russia is trying to breed distrust of our democratic institutions and our fellow Americans.”
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