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Brutal new Senate report on Russian meddling in 2016 election shows just how extensive the attack was on democracy

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The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the extent of the 2016 election meddling at the hands of the Russians.

According to a copy obtained by the Washington Post, Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project worked with the network analysis firm Graphika to detail the impacts Russian agents had using every social media platform available.

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The Russians attempted “to influence online discourse both in support of President Donald Trump’s candidacy and “to confuse, distract and ultimately discourage members [of Trump’s main opposition groups] from voting,” the report said.

The study reviewed the millions of posts provided by major technology companies and is the first of its kind.

The operations reportedly “shifted over time, peaking at key political moments, such as presidential debates or party conventions,” the Post said, citing the report.

“What is clear is that all of the messaging clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party — and specifically Donald Trump,” the report says. “Trump is mentioned most in campaigns targeting conservatives and right-wing voters, where the messaging encouraged these groups to support his campaign. The main groups that could challenge Trump were then provided messaging that sought to confuse, distract and ultimately discourage members from voting.”

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Some Republicans still refuse to believe Russia had any impact on the election, and Trump maintains it did not influence the votes cast, must less his win. The report disputes that, however. If the election seemed overly toxic and divided, it was part of the plan to anger and then mobilize the GOP base.

“The Russians aimed particular energy at activating conservatives on issues such as gun rights and immigration while sapping the political clout of left-leaning African American voters by undermining their faith in elections and spreading misleading information about how to vote,” the Post reported. “Many other groups — Latinos, Muslims, Christians, gay men and women, liberals, Southerners, veterans — got at least some attention from Russians operating thousands of social media accounts.”

Facebook and Twitter have faced the majority of the public attacks, but for the first time, this report found the impact sites like Google+, YouTube and Tumblr also had.

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It’s unclear if the Senate Intelligence Committee will endorse the report, but they are planning to release it publicly with another study this week.

Read the full report here.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Robbery sends shoppers at California Westfield Topanga Mall fleeing in panic of possible mass shooting

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Americans are running scared as mass shootings erupt all over the United States. The Los Angeles police are responding to a possible shooting that hasn't been verified. Local news reports that it could have been a robbery, but it was enough to send patrons into sheltering in place at the Westfield Topanga Mall. The mall is in a northwestern suburb of Los Angeles and to the east of Thousand Oaks.

ABC7 News reported that it was an organized group of robbers who tried to do a "Smash and grab" at a Neiman Marcus store in Canoga Park.

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Trump told his administration to check if he can stop hurricanes with a nuclear bomb

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President Donald Trump's lack of knowledge about science prompted another embarrassing moment when the U.S. president said that we should simply "nuke hurricanes" to solve the problem.

Another hurricane is headed toward Puerto Rico this week. The island is still recovering from being hit twice in 2017. Trump's solution, however, wasn't entirely thought out, however, Axios reported Sunday.

"I got it. I got it. Why don't we nuke them?" Trump said during a hurricane briefing at the White House, sources said. "They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they're moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane, and it disrupts it. Why can't we do that?"

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Trump allies acquiring ‘dirt’ on journalists to take them down during the 2020 election

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President Donald Trump's war against the media has taken a next step. According to The New York Times, Trump's allies have been compiling information on reporters at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times to strike back because the president believes they "aggressively investigated" him.

The information was revealed Sunday using information disclosed by associates of conservative Arthur Schwartz, who is spearheading the project. Schwartz is an adviser to Donald Trump Jr. and previously worked with Steve Bannon.

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