Quantcast
Connect with us

Cyber expert drops Senate intel bombshell: Russia targets Trump with fake news because he’ll repeat it

Published

on

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to supporters through a bullhorn during a campaign stop at the Canfield County Fair in Canfield, Ohio, U.S., September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

A cybersecurity expert testified that Russian “bots” pushed their disinformation campaigns during times when President Donald Trump was likely to be on social media — and he dutifully hyped those conspiracy theories.

Clint Watts, a former FBI agent and counterterrorism instructor at West Point, explained Thursday that Trump as a presidential candidate helped Russia take active measures to interfere with the election, whether he realized it or not.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Part of the reason active measures have worked in this election is because the commander-in-chief has used active measures at times against his opponents,” Watts testified.

Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and George Washington University, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Trump and his campaign’s use of Russian active measures happened in plain sight — even if most Americans were unaware at the time.

He testified that Paul Manafort, then Trump’s campaign chairman, promoted a bogus story Aug. 14 about a terrorist attack on a NATO base in Turkey, which originated on the Russian propaganda websites RT and Sputnik.

Trump then cited a Sputnik article Oct. 11 about Benghazi that later disappeared from the internet, and Watts pointed out that the president denies the conclusions of U.S. intelligence about Russian election interference.

Watts also testified that Trump claimed repeatedly that the election could be rigged, which he said was the No. 1 theme pushed by RT, Sputnik and other Russian propaganda outlets.

ADVERTISEMENT

“He’s made claims of voter fraud, that President Obama’s not a citizen and, you know, Congressman (Ted) Cruz is not a citizen,” Watts said. “Part of the reason active measures works, and it does today in terms of Trump Tower being ‘wiretapped,’ is because they parrot the same lines.”

He told the senators that Putin was exploiting the inability of social media users to properly weigh evidence — and he said those efforts were specifically targeted to the most famous and powerful Twitter user in the world.

“I can tell you right now, today, that gray outlets, that are Soviet-pushing accounts, tweet at President Trump during high volumes when they know he’s online, and they push conspiracy theories,” Watts testified.

ADVERTISEMENT

He explained that Russia planned the operation more than a year in advance and targeted specific groups of voters — both likely Trump supporters and Bernie Sanders voters — in swing states with anti-Clinton propaganda.

“They play all sides, much like how in infantry school about how they use artillery,” Watts testified. “They fire artillery everywhere, and once they get a break in the wall, that’s where they swarm in and focus.”

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Lincoln Project whacks the president: ‘We end COVID when we end Trump’s presidency’

Published

on

President Donald Trump on Thursday held a campaign rally in Wisconsin with supporters "packed in like sardines."

At the rally, Trump ridiculed former Vice President Joe Biden for social distancing at campaign appearances with America's death toll over 200,000. Also on Thursday, Biden held a town hall meeting on CNN where he spoke in-depth about the challenges of a coronavirus vaccine.

The Lincoln Project, the group of former top GOP strategists working to defeat Trump, said that "only one candidate will protect your family from coronavirus" in a new video.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump said he would give UN speech despite pandemic — but reversed course and won’t be attending

Published

on

US President Donald Trump will not attend next week's UN General Assembly gathering in person, his chief of staff told journalists aboard Air Force One Thursday, according to a pool report.

The decision marks an about-face for Trump, who last month said he wanted to deliver his speech in the General Assembly hall in New York, even if other world leaders are staying away due to the coronavirus pandemic.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows ended the debate once and for all, telling reporters en route to Wisconsin, where Trump was to hold a campaign rally, that the president would not physically attend the General Assembly's 75th session, which will take place mainly by videoconference due to the health crisis.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Trump mocked for 95-minute ‘slurring’ campaign speech — before crowd ‘packed in like sardines’ in Wisconsin

Published

on

President Donald Trump gave a fear-filled and factually inaccurate campaign rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin on Thursday.

The rally, held in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, featured a large crowd closely packed together.

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's speech, which lasted approximately 95 minutes:

https://twitter.com/RSBNetwork/status/1306433275381116928

https://twitter.com/bad_takes/status/1306758848577966081

Trump is slurring and sounds tired pic.twitter.com/6MJLw2fpms

Continue Reading