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Maddow: Jared Kushner may have helped Russian operatives with targeted political ads on Facebook

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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow led her viewers through a timeline of Facebook’s role in the 2016 presidential campaign and how it points to senior White House advisor and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Maddow read a quote from McClatchy News reporting, “investigators at the House and Senate Intelligence committees and the Justice Department are examining whether the Trump campaign’s digital operation – overseen by Jared Kushner – helped guide Russia’s sophisticated voter targeting and fake news attacks on Hillary Clinton in 2016.”

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“They cite several people familiar with the parallel inquiries,” Maddow explained. “Peter Stone and Greg Gordon reporting for McClatchy investigators are focusing on whether Trump’s campaign pointed Russian cyber operatives to certain voting jurisdictions, in key states — areas where Trump’s digital team and operatives were spotting weakness in voter support for Hillary Clinton.”

“In that article, crucially, McClatchy spoke with a guy who had just left his post as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia at the Pentagon,” Maddow noted. “So he’s the senior Pentagon official responsible for Russia during the Russian attack on our election.”

“There appears to have been significant cooperation between Russia’s online propaganda machine and individuals in the United States who were knowledgeable about where to target the disinformation,” Maddow read.

“So this would appear to be a key part of what Russia did to try to skew the election toward Donald Trump,” Maddow explained.

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“This behavior by the Russians using American social media, specifically using Facebook, it’s a key component of if they had any American help in what they did,” Maddow said. “Whether any Americans knew what they were doing and let it go, or cheered them on, or even helped them do it.”

“Now that Facebook is no longer denying it, now that everybody involved, except the Trump campaign, I think, admits to exactly what Russia did here, can we now look at what they did to see if they had help?” Maddow asked.

“Because now, there’s really no more disagreement about what happened here. The only question is whether there were American confederates involved, and now it’s a very investigatable thing,” Maddow noted. “You can’t spend foreign money to influence U.S. elections, even just on Facebook ads.

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