According to the Washington Post, left-leaning websites were duped into publishing stories created by Russian operatives that were critical of the Democratic Party and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.
As a part of an investigation into Russian interference in the election that ended with businessman Donald Trump being elected president, the FBI uncovered a well-timed conspiracy to plant freelance writers at popular websites such as Counterpunch, where they were able to attack the Democrats from the left as the election heated up.
One such author introduced herself to Counterpunch with a February 2016 email reading, "Hello, my name is Alice Donovan and I’m a beginner freelance journalist."
What followed was a writing relationship with the website that saw "Alice" slowly turn from global politics to criticism of Democrats.
According to the Post: "Increasingly, she seemed to be doing the Kremlin’s bidding by stoking discontent toward Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and touting WikiLeaks, which U.S. officials say was a tool of Russia’s broad influence operation to affect the presidential race."
“There’s no denying the emails that Julian Assange has picked up from inside the Democratic Party are real,” the person identifying as "Donovan" penned three months before the election for the website We Are Change. “The emails have exposed Hillary Clinton in a major way — and almost no one is reporting on it.”
The report states that the FBI had been tracking Donovan for months as part of a counterintelligence operation code-named “NorthernNight,” with the Post adding, "Internal bureau reports described her as a pseudonymous foot soldier in an army of Kremlin-led trolls seeking to undermine America’s democratic institutions."
Counterpunch, in particular, has since removed election postings by Alice Donovan since she was exposed.
You can read the whole report here.