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.”
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James Clyburn schools Trump over ‘lynching’ tweet: ‘I’m a product of the South — I know the history of that word’
Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) on Tuesday schooled President Donald Trump for accusing House Democrats of "lynching" him through their impeachment inquiry.
After CNN host John Berman read Clyburn the president's tweet and asked him for his opinion, the congressman accused the president of being deliberately inflammatory in order to distract from his own actions.
"The president has also been pretty loose with his words, and this is another indication of that," he said. "I really believe this man is prone to inflammatory statements and that is one word no president ought to apply to himself."
Entire staff in Trump’s chaotic White House ‘on thin ice’: NYT’s Haberman
Appearing on CNN's "New Day," New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman addressed Donald Trump's threat to "terminate" the Times and revealed that White House aides are under the gun as the president's impeachment grows nearer.
Speaking with hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota, Haberman a was asked about Trump's Monday threat to terminate the New York Times -- believed to mean the White House would be canceling its subscription -- and deadpanned that the venerable newspaper would probably survive the economic hit.
Host Camerota then asked about the status of embattled acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney who suffered a rough week after a disastrous press conference appearance and an equally disastrous Fox News interview.
Ex-Defense Secretary lays into Trump’s Syria pullout: He ‘plays into’ authoritarians’ hands to ‘weaken the United States’
On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta blasted President Donald Trump over his foreign policy — particularly his withdrawal from Syria.
"Secretary Panetta, just generally what do you make of how this whole withdrawal, non-withdrawal is being handled by the White House?" asked Cooper. "We're seeing the administration trying to walk back a broad policy announcement from the president."
"I think from the very beginning this has been a — probably the most disastrous foreign policy blunder in recent history," said Panetta. "And there is no way when you commit a blunder like this that involves the consequences we're now seeing, there's no way to paint this picture as if somehow everything's going well."