WATCH: Former US Ambassador to Russia explains exactly why he was the target of Putin’s trolls
President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to Russia explained to MSNBC anchor Joy Reid the domestic political realities worrying Vladimir Putin lashing out at the west.
“We have plenty of evidence Russia’s interference was not a singular event, but a long-running and fairly refined pattern,” Reid explained. “In fact, The Washington Post reports that Russia has been using the same playbook to meddle in American politics as far back as 2012, when it aggressively trolled the U.S. ambassador to Russia on Twitter.”
“The cyber attacks, the misinformation, the undermining of its chosen enemies — we’ve seen all of that in the Russian attacks on U.S. democracy and we’re seeing it again in Russia’s election season ahead of the vote in March, where the only real opposition to Vladimir Putin has been barred from running,” Reid observed.
“Joining us is Michael McFaul, the same man targeted by Russian trolls in 2012,” Reid introduced. “Were you able to discern what the purpose of trolling you was?”
“Well, there’s several objectives and I think they’re relevant to the situation today in America,” Ambassador McFaul noted.
“The first was to discredit what our mission was, what our statements were, from the Obama Administration and so they wanted to sideline me as a spokesperson for the Obama Administration,” McFaul suggested.
“The second was more profound, I would say, it was to create a myth that President Obama sent me to foment revolution against Vladimir Putin,” McFaul explained.
“That was a message that they started from day two once I showed up in Moscow, and that was to mobilize his electorate against those that were protesting against him,” McFaul continued.
“The message was those people are funded by the United States. they’re marionettes, they are puppets of the west, they need to be discredited and I became, unfortunately, the poster child for that campaign,” McFaul noted.
“Literally the poster child, by the way” he added.
“Literally, on posters,” Reid replied.
Following the segment, Ambassador McFaul tweeted some of the literal posters attacking him.
# p #13_20 # ad skipped = true #
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) December 27, 2017# p #14_20 # ad skipped = true #
# p #15_20 # ad skipped = true #
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) December 27, 2017# p #16_20 # ad skipped = true #
Here's another poster, claiming that I am the "artistic director" for the "political circus" coming on May 6, 2012. This photo was taken at a bus stop by one of my embassy colleagues. pic.twitter.com/bdYNLHXxor# p #17_20 # ad skipped = true #
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) December 27, 2017# p #18_20 # ad skipped = true #