CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin said Monday that Russian troll farm attacks on social media “went beyond politics” and flirted with outright blackmail.
Griffin detailed the “astounding” efforts by Russia’s Internet Research Agency, a/k/a “the troll farm”, to influence the political dialogue in the U.S.
“The report obtained by CNN shows how the trolls, as a group, regularly tried to co-opt unsuspecting Americans to work for them by holding rallies, staging protests, even handing over their personal information,” Griffin said, pointing to fake Black Live Matters and gun rights related Facebook groups. “This report reveals something that is even beyond politics,” he added ominously.
“Russians made up a fictitious group called the Army of Jesus, which was targeting Christians, and was offering free counseling to people with sexual addiction,” Griffin said. “This could have been a way to create an opportunity to blackmail or manipulate individuals, essentially a way to pressure Americans into working for the Russians.”
Watch the video below.
Saint Paul police chief condemns tactics used on George Floyd: ‘We’re here to serve — not choke people!’
Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell told CNN's Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow on Thursday that he's showing his officers footage from George Floyd's death as an example of how not to handle a suspect.
In particular, Axtell told the CNN hosts that all of the officers in his department said that the actions of the officers in Minneapolis to Floyd were completely unacceptable.
"Every police officer that I know that I interacted with yesterday in the city of Saint Paul, there was not one who felt that what they observed on that video in Minneapolis was in any way, shape, or form acceptable police behavior," he said. "It is disgusting, it is dehumanizing, it is something that absolutely has to stop."
‘Don’t be a sucker’: CNN’s Cuomo begs viewers not to let Trump’s antics distract from the horror of COVID deaths
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Chris Cuomo warned viewers not to be taken in by President Donald Trump's distraction tactics — and instead focus on the loss of human life from the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's a sad night. I don't know any other way to put it," said Cuomo. "I don't even like that the music's playing, to be honest. It's just three months. We've lost a hundred thousand lives. Do you need band music to tell you it's something urgent?"
"We were told this pandemic would magically disappear without any real trouble. A couple dozen cases," said Cuomo. "Today, did you hear what our president, Donald John Trump, said to calm and reassure our nerves, that we will do everything we can to keep us safe as we reopen and that he will make it his life's focus because that what a president does? Did you hear him say that? Me either. Not a damn word from Trump as this country is just struggling to get our heads and our hearts, let alone our hands around processing such loss so quickly. Suddenly he is now at a loss. Not even a tweet."
‘There needs to be a prosecution’ of cop who killed George Floyd: CNN guest says ‘call it what it is’
On CNN Wednesday, criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson walked through why the Minneapolis police officer responsible for George Floyd's suffocation death must be prosecuted.
"Bottom line, question here from looking at this, should the officer face charges?" asked host Erin Burnett.
"Erin, I don't think there is any question about that, and I think if you look at it, under any reasonable measure there needs to be a prosecution," said Jackson. "You know, when you look at issues of excessive force — and I know this comes with a lot of emotion, and it should because of the blatant nature of what occurred. But if you even look at it legally and forget about the emotion, you look and you see, was there an imminent fear that the officer was facing when he had his knee in the neck of Mr. Floyd? And the answer is resoundingly no. You look at the force he used, that is the officer, and you say is it proportionate to whatever threat was posed? The answer is no, you don't see any threat. You see a person detained and really not resisting at all."