The Senate Intelligence Committee issued the second installment of its report on interference in the 2016 election. This edition was subtitled “Russia’s Use of Social Media,” and SPOILER ALERT, the committee agreed with everyone outside the Wingnut Bubble that it was the Russians. We don’t know who needs to hear this, but:
“The Committee found that the IRA [Internet Research Agency] sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election by harming Hillary Clinton’s chances of success and supporting Donald Trump at the direction of the Kremlin.
And the order to ratfuck our election came straight from the top.
“Despite Moscow’s denials, the direction and financial involvement of Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin, as well as his close ties to high-level Russian government officials including President Vladimir Putin, point to significant Kremlin support, authorization, and direction of the IRA’ s operations and goals.”
Not the Chinese. Not some 400-lb hacker on his bed. Vladimir Putin interfered in the American electoral process explicitly to help Donald Trump get elected. Which is why his surprise victory in November 2016 was greeted with champagne toasts all over Moscow. He’s their guy.
The Committee found that the Russians flooded Facebook and YouTube with inflammatory memes on guns, race, and immigration. African Americans were systematically targeted with misinformation in an attempt to depress black turnout for Hillary Clinton.
“The Committee found that no single group of Americans was targeted by IRA information operatives more than African-Americans. By far, race and related issues were the preferred target of the information warfare campaign designed to divide the country in 2016. Evidence of the IRA’s overwhelming operational emphasis on race is evident in the IRA’s Facebook advertisement content (over 66 percent contained a term related to race) and targeting (locational targeting was principally aimed at African Americans in key metropolitan areas), its Facebook pages (one of the IRA’s top performing pages, “Blacktivist,” generated 11.2 million engagements with Facebook users), its Instagram content (five of the top 10 Instagram accounts were focused on African-American issues and audiences), its Twitter content (heavily focused on hot button issues with racial undertones, such as the NFL kneeling protests), and its YouTube activity (96 percent of the IRA’s YouTube content was targeted at racial issues and police· brutality).”
They also agreed with the IC’s finding that the Russians — NOT THE UKRAINIANS, NOT SETH RICH — hacked John Podesta and the DNC’s emails and timed the publication to deliberately inflict maximal damage on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
So now that we’ve got that settled, Sean Hannity and the rest of the loons will stop flogging that shit about the DNC hack being an inside job … NEVER.