President Donald Trump, in a tweet designed to smear Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly over his re-election bid, seemed to reveal the truth about the Russia-based influence campaign that got him into office.
Rumor has it that Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana is paying for Facebook ads for his so-called opponent on the libe… https://t.co/C5w1QAVUro— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1541279126.0
While it's likely the President's last sentence was an attempt at glibness, it nevertheless reads like an admission that accounts of Russian influence campaigns on the election do have some merit, including efforts to split the vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by pushing Bernie Saunders and Jill Stein.
It is true that ads in the Indiana race have included some backing Lucy Brenton, the Libertarian Party candidate in the race, that include the statement that they were "authorized by Donnelly for Indiana." The ads question just how conservative the Republican candidate, Mike Braun, actually is.
"Mike Braun will say anything to get elected, but the fact is that he was an active Democrat for decades, and voted to raise your taxes 159 times,” reads one such ad. “Lucy Brenton is the true anti-tax conservative."
Russia is accused of far more than simply influencing the election in such a manner, including the theft of materials from DNC servers.
Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license
This article has been updated to remove inaccurate descriptions of Bernie Sanders' and Jill Stein's parties.