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Thread: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

  1. #1
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    Just read this rather informative article in the National, with which, perhaps because of my confirmation bias, I agreed wholeheartedly. The crux of the matter is that the scope, dimensions and effect of the Russian Internet campaign had been exaggerated dramatically by the press, despite its overall modest ambitions. According to the scientific data, their funds were actually limited (ironically, Russian experts suspect that the main goal of the Research Agency is to leech the budget of the Ministry for insignificant and doomed-to-fail projects), their tactics amateurish and the content of their message was more prone to generate controversy and discord than support for a specific candidate. These observations directly contradict the mainstream narrative Saint Petersburg-originated advertisement generating millions of clicks in social media and manipulating hundreds of thousands of innocent voters.

    However, in my opinion, although the numbers are accurate, their interpretation is misleading, either due to malevolent intentions or because of many journalists' genuine incapacity to understand statistics. In the vast world of Facebook and Twitter, where so many users interact with each other, numbers with a long series of zeroes may not actually be as impressive as they superficially look. Moreover, there's also the question of the demographics that get access to these messages and actually endorse them. I personally doubt that anyone else than the most fanatical Republicans would believe that Obama is an Islamist Bolshevik or that liberals run a pederasty ring in the basement of a pizza restaurant. These wild stories are usually only able to satisfy the prejudices and intensify the polarisation of the already most radicalised segments of the society. Meanwhile, moderate citizens, whose votes actually determine the results of the presidential elections are much less vulnerable to such obvious attempts at slander and fear-mongering.

    The same conclusion applies to more direct initiatives of the Russian state authorities, like the leaking of the private communication between Hillary Clinton and her associates. The Spirit Cooking controversy gained a lot of publicity, but then again, was any potential Democrat supporter truly convinced that a cabal of cosmopolitan progressives bake immaterial concepts like pain and feasted on body fluids? Similarly fascist activists may have been very active in isolated corners of the net, but their frog memes were hardly visible or digestible to more mainstream and aged voters, who did not frequent 4chan, Stormfront and the tweeting account of Richard Spencer and Yaxley Lennon.

    So, why was the contribution of Russia and the Pepe fandom grown out of proportions? As Aaron Maté suggests, the principal culprit is probably the establishment of the Democratic Party. Blaming the Kremlin and the dregs of the American society is a very convenient tactic of absolving yourself of any responsibility for the unexpected defeat. Simultaneously, it also achieves to demonise the opposition, as it presents them as totally dependent on foreign interference and the "lumpenproletariat". Especially the former is a pretty dangerous trend, when it occurs in the supposedly more tolerant part of the political spectrum, as it can gradually devolve into thinly veiled xenophobia and war-mongering. Meanwhile, Russia and the marginalised right-wing extremists exploited and encouraged the scapegoating narrative, in order for the first to enhance their international prestige as a tech-savvy government and for the second to reinforce their fragile self-confidence.

    Unfortunately for the Democrats, accusing the others and refusing to recognize your mistakes may have negative repercussions in the long-term, as the most serious obstacles are never addressed. For example, Hillary's popularity was notoriously frail, because she was lacking terribly in charisma (the ills of nepotism, I suppose), while she was also perceived as the epitome of establishment politics and a continuation of her predecessor's largely disappointing record in the crucial issues of wage stagnation, income inequality and etc.. Moreover, citizens who either abstained or who voted reluctantly for Donald, in the vain hope of a billionaire magnate draining the marsh, are alienated by the deeply condescending nature of the Democratic strategy of interpreting their losses as the consequence of manipulation, instead of genuine discontent.

  2. #2
    Akar's Avatar Pseudokhristos
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    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    I think it's pretty clear that the author of that article already had his mind made up before writing the article. He clearly had a point he wanted to make and found any data he could that would support it, whether or not it was relevant. I don't think it's fair to say at all that it's been exaggerated drastically, at least not by anyone in the intelligence community. If you get your information on the investigations by watching the Congressional testimony you will have a much better picture of the real situation than you'll get by reading an article written by someone who read someone else's account of what they saw on C-SPAN. There is dozens of hours of congressional testimony available from former CIA directors like Brennan and Russian experts like Bill Browder on the efficacy, scope, and goals of the Russian propaganda machine operating during the 2016 elections.

    I can tell that you're not an American, and assume that you don't actually personally have a Facebook or twitter with a bunch of Americans on it. Because if you did, you would absolutely see that there has been no exaggeration about the scope and sheer number of Trump and Hillary related content on Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter during 2016. You say "I personally doubt that anyone else than the most fanatical Republicans would believe that Obama is an Islamist Bolshevik or that liberals run a pederasty ring in the basement of a pizza restaurant." but I can speak from personal experience as someone living in America and in the South in particular that there is a ridiculous number of people willing to believe these things. Even if not the exact particulars they would agree that there is some truth to the claims.

    The article talks about how most of the memes shared didn't even directly reference Trump or Hilary directly, but that's missing the point completely. The point of those spam memes like "like if you like Jesus" is to make people who follow and like that drivel subconsciously associate something they already consider positive (Jesus) with a new thing (Trump) when those memes start making reference to things Trump is parroting. You don't have to say "support Trumps border wall" directly if people will want to vote for Trump anyway if you just talk about immigrants and Jesus enough at the same time. Eventually, they'll come to like the border wall too simply because its what "their guy" wants.

    I don't think the conclusion you draw in your last two paragraphs is correct at all. It's outrageous to accuse one side of "demonizing" the other when the side that is supposedly being "demonized" has provably violated numerous federal laws and multiple members of that same side have plead guilty to violating those laws. No one except Hillary and Tom Perez are "accusing others and refusing to recognize their own mistakes". When you identify a criminal and report him to the police you aren't "accusing others" you are following the law. Trump and co. have been proven to have violated the law. Many of his associates have already been imprisoned or are currently on trial or have testified for immunity against him. When will this "democrats are mean" nonsense finally end? Holding your elected officials accountable is not being mean unless you live in a god damned monarchy. Trump committed numerous felonies before, during, and after his 2016 election and he was helped by Russia. The House investigation agrees, every one of our allies intelligence agencies agrees (The Dutch literally had cameras inside the troll farm), the Mueller report agrees. The man was even impeached for s sake but then acquitted with no witnesses on a purely partisan vote. At what point are you going to stop calling it bullying and acknowledge that it's an attempt at justice in the face of intense and pervasive corruption.

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    The 2016 presidential election will most likely go down as one of the most studied in history, likely with the same notoriety that the 1876 election is written with today. As usual, the actual "truth" is in between the two extremes. This is neither a brilliant plot executed by the Kremlin, nor is an amateurish plot designed to scam the Russian MoD for millions in funding. The way Putin laughs about the whole thing and accusations of election meddling makes it clear that the efforts of "Russia's Troll Army" are not considered to be a substantial effort with a directive from the Kremlin, nor was it expected to be. The most likely explanation is that the Russian Internet Agency did accidentally stumble upon gold, but these efforts are not particularly acknowledged by either Putin or the Kremlin because they consider such tactics to be childish and amateurish.

    I would like to bring up that Russia's trolling tactics on the Internet are not particularly new in the context of the 2016 election. In fact, Internet trolling, attempts to reframe the narrative, are seemingly a standard part of the Russian toolkit. It's simply another part of Russian propaganda efforts which also consist of official Russian media channels like RT, "independent" affiliates based in Russia, official statements by Russian diplomats and spokesmen (such as Putin himself), as well as other covert efforts to supply alternative narratives (such as the Internet Troll Army). We've seen such tactics in Ukraine, during the MH 17 shootdown, Syrian Civil War, etc.

    What is notable, is the Russian hacking of the DNC and RNC servers, their collaboration with WikiLeaks, and the subsequent work by the Russian Troll Army to originate and popularize anti-Clinton narratives. Once such theories, discourse, and tactics take hold... well, the Internet does the rest. As the Russian term frequently parroted at me on Reddit, and probably this Forum as well, people who push Russian propaganda because they bought into it are "useful idiots". So sure, statistically the Russian Troll Army may not have done much, but they don't really need to. Once a trope wins over, the Internet goes along with it. Note that this tendency works the other way as well. Once a narrative of blaming Russia for every evil thing on this blue planet became popular, it became a very persistent and convincing "truth" for progressives, Democrats, etc. I mean, saying anything positive about Russia these days is grounds to get you excommunicated from r/politics. Wouldn't be surprised if they started labeling people as Russian Shills through their flair system.

    So, like all ridiculous exaggerations, there is a kernel of truth to the current narrative that Democrats and progressives wholeheartedly believe in. The greatest irony, is that it wouldn't surprise me if the Kremlin and Putin also believe that their contributions to the chaos and Trump's victory are microscopic to the point of being irrelevant. As far as Putin and his fellow supporters are concerned, everything that has happened since 2016 was a massive stroke of luck. Had Kremlin actually believed their own , they would've undoubtedly invested hundreds of millions into attacking United States in the exact same way. We would likely be hearing alarm bells from the US intelligence community had such a thing happened.

  4. #4
    Cope's Avatar Have you no decency?
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    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    Of course the liberal establishment is using Moscow's interference to excuse its own shortcomings, to try and cast Trump's presidency as illegitimate and to undermine the Sanders campaign. As ever, the following facts are conveniently ignored by America's new-fangled McCarthyists: (1) It was the liberal establishment which failed to prevent the interference in the first place; (2) the groups who were most likely to vote for Trump (older people and men) were the least likely to use the social media platforms which the Russians targeted; (3) the information which was revealed by Wikileaks was far more concerning than the fact that the information had been exposed illegally; (4) the Russian ops were not particularly sophisticated (Podesta's people fell for a phishing scam for instance); (5) Mueller found that Trump had not colluded with the Kremlin; (6) the FBI abused the FISA process to spy on members of Trump's campaign staff.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    Pretty much any more or less significant power probably has people who go online and spread the narrative on its behalf, Russia was definitely not the first one to do that and US probably has a far bigger funding for that kind of thing anyways. At the same time it is quite petty and pathetic to blame any significant electoral change on online comments. Just goes to show that losing side in 2016 elections is worthless and weak.

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    Akar's Avatar Pseudokhristos
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    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    Of course the liberal establishment is using Moscow's interference to excuse its own shortcomings, to try and cast Trump's presidency as illegitimate and to undermine the Sanders campaign. As ever, the following facts are conveniently ignored by America's new-fangled McCarthyists: (1) It was the liberal establishment which failed to prevent the interference in the first place; (2) the groups who were most likely to vote for Trump (older people and men) were the least likely to use the social media platforms which the Russians targeted; (3) the information which was revealed by Wikileaks was far more concerning than the fact that the information had been exposed illegally; (4) the Russian ops were not particularly sophisticated (Podesta's people fell for a phishing scam for instance); (5) Mueller found that Trump had not colluded with the Kremlin; (6) the FBI abused the FISA process to spy on members of Trump's campaign staff.
    My responses organized by your points.

    1) There is no "liberal establishment" aside from the straw man constructed to stoke fearmongering amongst the Fox News viewership. It doesn't matter who failed to prevent what in the first place, as president Trump is actively and intentionally preventing election security bills and reforms to take place. Can you really compare the (claimed) negligence of the last presidency with the proven and intentional criminality of the current president?

    2) Which is the entire point? There is no need to target people who are already going to vote for Trump or who get their propaganda via traditional methods (Fox News). Obviously it would make sense for the Russians to target groups not already going to vote for Trump. You know, just like everyone else who wants to win an election talks to undecided voters rather than only preaching to the choir?

    3) That doesn't change the questionable nature of the timing of the releases as well as the provably false information that was released alongside the actual information. You can't trust illegally gained data nearly as much as you can legally gained.

    4) Phishing is basically how every single hacking operation is done these days. If it works, it's not stupid. You don't need sophisticated if it works.

    5) That's 100% false. They specifically said he was not exonerated.

    6) Carter Page was an FBI informant years before he ever joined the Trump campaign.

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    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    There is no "liberal establishment"
    Yes there is.
    Obviously it would make sense for the Russians to target groups not already going to vote for Trump.
    Except that people don't vote because of comments they saw online. They vote out of their economic, political and social interests.
    That's 100% false. They specifically said he was not exonerated.
    That's not how this works. No court convicted Trump. Innocent until proven guilty and such.

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    Akar's Avatar Pseudokhristos
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    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    Who's the liberal establishment? Give me some sources or names on these people. Something other than "durr liberal establishment scurry"

    Trump was impeached for his crimes, not to mention being named in numerous indictments against other members of his administration who later plead guilty to those crimes. Innocent until proven guilty sure, but not "Mueller found that Trump had not concluded" which is a BLATANT falsehood when Mueller specifically said the report does NOT exonerate the president.

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    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    Who's the liberal establishment? Give me some sources or names on these people. Something other than "durr liberal establishment scurry"
    I'd presume from the term itself it is high-ranking liberal politicians as well as major sources of their financial, organizational and political support.
    Trump was impeached for his crimes, not to mention being named in numerous indictments against other members of his administration who later plead guilty to those crimes. Innocent until proven guilty sure, but not "Mueller found that Trump had not concluded" which is a BLATANT falsehood when Mueller specifically said the report does NOT exonerate the president.
    What Mueller said doesn't matter. Trump was not convicted of any crimes in the court of the law. So Trump not committing any crimes remains a fact as far as US legal system is concerned.

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    Akar's Avatar Pseudokhristos
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    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    Well, what Mueller said DOES actually matter when he said one thing but Epic_Fail said he said another. If what he says doesn't matter, then why misrepresent him?

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    Cope's Avatar Have you no decency?
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    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    1) There is no "liberal establishment" aside from the straw man constructed to stoke fearmongering amongst the Fox News viewership.
    The "liberal establishment" is shorthand for the collection of institutions, organizations and powerful individuals which/who act as the ideology's primary representatives both nationally and internationally. In the US, liberalism is extensively represented the Democratic Party and influential media outlets, universities, businesses, unions and pressure groups.

    It is self-evidently the case that the existence of these institutions, their affiliated groups and the intellectual and policy orthodoxies they espouse, are not the product of a conservative conspiracy. On the contrary, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that we're living in an era of liberal hegemony (albeit now declining) which is characterised by the transfer of power to international institutions and globalist projects.

    It doesn't matter who failed to prevent what in the first place
    That's convenient for Pres. O's administration isn't it?

    as president Trump is actively and intentionally preventing election security bills and reforms to take place.
    The Senate is blocking the security bills you refer to, not the president. If there is foreign interference in the 2020 election, the responsibility will reside with them (as well as the administration).

    Can you really compare the (claimed) negligence of the last presidency with the proven and intentional criminality of the current president?
    The alleged "criminality" of the president has not been proven.

    2) Which is the entire point? There is no need to target people who are already going to vote for Trump or who get their propaganda via traditional methods (Fox News). Obviously it would make sense for the Russians to target groups not already going to vote for Trump. You know, just like everyone else who wants to win an electi1on talks to undecided voters rather than only preaching to the choir?
    The point is that claims about the extent to which the Russian's IRA skewed the election in Trump's favor are essentially non-falsifiable. It was the presiding administration's responsibility to protect the integrity of the election and it failed. If that failure contributed to the Trump presidency, then it only has itself to blame.

    3) That doesn't change the questionable nature of the timing of the releases as well as the provably false information that was released alongside the actual information. You can't trust illegally gained data nearly as much as you can legally gained.
    No one has contested the validity of the information which was released by Wikileaks (which is what I was referring to).

    What we learnt about the Clinton controlled DNC's efforts to sabotage Sanders' campaign, the party's attempts to promote Trump as a "pied piper candidate" and Brazile's leaking of debate questions was of much greater consequence than the fact that Wikileaks acquired its information illegally. Naturally, and as per the OP's contention, it was easier for the liberal establishment to distract from these revelations by furiously pointing at Russia than it was for them to hold their own people responsible.

    4) Phishing is basically how every single hacking operation is done these days. If it works, it's not stupid. You don't need sophisticated if it works.
    It works if you have poor security. What's relevant here though is that the Russian threat has been greatly over-exaggerated by those looking to excuse their own shortcomings. It's not as if the GRU was launching highly sophisticated cyber attacks which changed Clinton votes to Trump votes.

    5) That's 100% false. They specifically said he was not exonerated.
    The Mueller report concluded the following: "the investigation did not establish that these efforts reflected or constituted coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russia in its election interference activities". This is why, despite their best efforts, neither Schiff nor Nadler, were able to pursue impeachment charges on the matter.

    6) Carter Page was an FBI informant years before he ever joined the Trump campaign.
    Does that disprove my point that the FISA court was abused by the FBI?
    Last edited by Cope; February 14, 2020 at 11:10 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    I think it's pretty clear that the author of that article already had his mind made up before writing the article. He clearly had a point he wanted to make and found any data he could that would support it, whether or not it was relevant. I don't think it's fair to say at all that it's been exaggerated drastically, at least not by anyone in the intelligence community. If you get your information on the investigations by watching the Congressional testimony you will have a much better picture of the real situation than you'll get by reading an article written by someone who read someone else's account of what they saw on C-SPAN. There is dozens of hours of congressional testimony available from former CIA directors like Brennan and Russian experts like Bill Browder on the efficacy, scope, and goals of the Russian propaganda machine operating during the 2016 elections.
    Thr people who voted against Trump are precisely the kind of person the article was aimed at


    I personally know pwoplw who voted for, and Russia had nothing to do with how people voted. And despite the claims, there was zero real evidence that the Russians influenced the election. Not a single real example



    I read Hillary's book "What Happened", and it is clear that Hillary is clueless why she lost. The friends I know who voted for Trump said the answer to the question waa provided by the picture of Hillary under the title.

    Hillary was deeply unpopular, and others I know just couldn't bring themselves to vote for Hillary, much as they hated Trump, and voted 3rd party.



    I can tell that you're not an American, and assume that you don't actually personally have a Facebook or twitter with a bunch of Americans on it. Because if you did, you would absolutely see that there has been no exaggeration about the scope and sheer number of Trump and Hillary related content on Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter during 2016. You say "I personally doubt that anyone else than the most fanatical Republicans would believe that Obama is an Islamist Bolshevik or that liberals run a pederasty ring in the basement of a pizza restaurant." but I can speak from personal experience as someone living in America and in the South in particular that there is a ridiculous number of people willing to believe these things. Even if not the exact particulars they would agree that there is some truth to the claims.
    And I can tell your one of rhe Hillary supporters who were actually clueless as to why the Democrats lost. There have been a lot of post of Hillary, yes, because she has been invovled in more scandals than Trump. Travelgate, Whitewatergate, fill in the blank gate. She was Secretary of State and MIA when our ambassador ro Libyia was killed, and thr story that it was a spontaneous uprising was pure BS.

    And many see past the media hype of Obama, and see his flaws, which the the media and the Democrats won't acknowledge. In the Zimmer-Trayvon Martin shooting for example, Obama's action completely racially polarized the US, weighing in what should a strictly local affair. Instead of pointig out that years before the roles were reversed and a black neighborhood watchman Roderick Scott shot and killed an unarmed white honor student also was acquitted, Obama an agenda that left the country more racially polarized than ever. Martin got shot because he was physically beating on Zimmerman, not because he was wearing a hoodie. Obama could of used the incident to launch into a dialogue that discussed violence in the African American community, where 90% of African American are killed by other African Americans, and 4 times the national average, leading to homicide being the leading cause of death of young African American males. But he didn't.

    The article talks about how most of the memes shared didn't even directly reference Trump or Hilary directly, but that's missing the point completely. The point of those spam memes like "like if you like Jesus" is to make people who follow and like that drivel subconsciously associate something they already consider positive (Jesus) with a new thing (Trump) when those memes start making reference to things Trump is parroting. You don't have to say "support Trumps border wall" directly if people will want to vote for Trump anyway if you just talk about immigrants and Jesus enough at the same time. Eventually, they'll come to like the border wall too simply because its what "their guy" wants.
    The people who voted for Trump did so because rhe Democrats did not understand their concerns and were not addressing them or even acknowledging they existed. If they come ro eventually.support things like the wall, it iz because the Democrata won't even acknowldge their problems. The so called "rust states" voted for Trump because they saw a lot of good paying jobs leave the country, a lot going to China. Trump, unlike the Democrats, and other Republicans, is trying to address that concern. Is Trump taking the right action? Probably not, but at least he isn't pretending there isn't a problem, like Rommney and the Democrats.

    I don't think the conclusion you draw in your last two paragraphs is correct at all. It's outrageous to accuse one side of "demonizing" the other when the side that is supposedly being "demonized" has provably violated numerous federal laws and multiple members of that same side have plead guilty to violating those laws. No one except Hillary and Tom Perez are "accusing others and refusing to recognize their own mistakes". When you identify a criminal and report him to the police you aren't "accusing others" you are following the law. Trump and co. have been proven to have violated the law. Many of his associates have already been imprisoned or are currently on trial or have testified for immunity against him. When will this "democrats are mean" nonsense finally end? Holding your elected officials accountable is not being mean unless you live in a god damned monarchy. Trump committed numerous felonies before, during, and after his 2016 election and he was helped by Russia. The House investigation agrees, every one of our allies intelligence agencies agrees (The Dutch literally had cameras inside the troll farm), the Mueller report agrees. The man was even impeached for s sake but then acquitted with no witnesses on a purely partisan vote. At what point are you going to stop calling it bullying and acknowledge that it's an attempt at justice in the face of intense and pervasive corruption.
    When govenrment institutions like thr IRS and the FBI have pursued those thsy don't agree with, it is not an outrageous accusation. In both the IRS and the FBI the records were lost as well as the backups as well, but no one complained of obstruction. And yes, they allegedly to eventually recover all the lost communications (after they have been sanitized, no doubt.) I didn't hear any howls of outrage by those who rail against Trump

    None of the Democrats presidential candidates are addressing the concerns that got Trump elected, which demonstates that they haven't recognized their own mistakes despite what you claim. Your own comments prove the truth of the article. The Russians had nothing to do with Trump getting elected, something you and n many others still don't seem to accept.
    Last edited by alhoon; February 18, 2020 at 06:50 PM. Reason: minor off-topic personal references removed

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    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    I agree the alt-right trolls and Russian masterminds were of only marginal importance. That said the election was determined by a very small margin. I am persuaded that influences like Mueller reopening the investigation into Clinton days before the election and her pre-existing unpopularity were more important. All other things being equal had the Russians not trolled the crap out of the US Trump would not be President, but thats true of other factors as well so they were a neccesary but not sufficient element of his unlikely election.

    Trumps (jesting) appeals to Russia during the election campaign and his subsequent fawning over Putin serve to magnify the role of the Russians in the election, and the Democrats have attempted to link Putin and Trump in an unlikely nexus. This isn't "cultural Marxism" level conspiracy theory though: the Russians set out to influence the election and they got their preferred result, a President with less than credible legitimacy. The fact Trump is an unstable and inexperienced leader is a bonus but a tainted Clinton would have served them too: her past record in the Arab Spring suggest she would have been as bad as Trump is at foreign policy.

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    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    Well, what Mueller said DOES actually matter when he said one thing but Epic_Fail said he said another. If what he says doesn't matter, then why misrepresent him?
    Because it is irrelevant as far as US legal system is concerned. No court in US has convicted Trump of any crimes. Trump is innocent. Miller's personal opinion is just that, his opinion, nothing more.

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    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    The Kremlin is interfering in the US presidential election to help Trump in 2016 and 2020:
    Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected, five people familiar with the matter said, in a disclosure that angered Mr. Trump, who complained that Democrats would use it against him.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/u...democrats.html
    As confirmed by existing bipartisan findings on the matter:
    The Committee found,that the IRA sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election by harming Hillary Clinton's chances of success and supporting Donald Trump at the direction ofthe Kremlin.

    The Committee recommends that the Executive Branch should, in the run up to the 2020 election, reinforce with the public the danger ofattempted foreign interference in the 2020 election.

    https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/...rt_Volume2.pdf
    The Trump campaign was aware of and receptive to that help:
    During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.

    Exactly how much Mr. Papadopoulos said that night at the Kensington Wine Rooms with the Australian, Alexander Downer, is unclear. But two months later, when leaked Democratic emails began appearing online, Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts, according to four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians’ role.

    The hacking and the revelation that a member of the Trump campaign may have had inside information about it were driving factors that led the F.B.I. to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump’s associates conspired.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/30/u...adopoulos.html
    The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton.
    The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
    If the future president’s eldest son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material — or the notion that it was part of a continuing effort by the Russian government to aid his father’s campaign — he gave no indication.
    He replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/11/u...l-clinton.html
    President Trump said on Sunday that a Trump Tower meeting between top campaign aides and a Kremlin-connected lawyer was designed to “get information on an opponent” — the starkest acknowledgment yet that a statement he dictated last year about the encounter was misleading.
    Mr. Trump made the comment in a tweet on Sunday morning that was intended to be a defense of the June 2016 meeting and the role his son Donald Trump Jr. played in hosting it. The president claimed that it was “totally legal” and of the sort “done all the time in politics.”
    But the tweet also served as an admission that the Trump team had not been forthright when Donald Trump Jr. issued a statement in July 2017 saying that the meeting had been primarily about the adoption of Russian children.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/05/u...donald-jr.html
    "The government obtained and executed dozens of search warrants on various accounts used to facilitate the transfer of stolen documents for release, as well as to discuss the timing and promotion of their release," Mueller's team wrote in a filing to the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C.
    "Several of those search warrants were executed on accounts that contained Stone's communications with Guccifer 2.0 and with Organization 1."

    Organization 1 is a reference to WikiLeaks, while Guccifer 2.0 is a hacker persona U.S. intelligence agencies say was a cover name used by Russian military intelligence.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/16/muel...nications.html
    Trump himself has openly undermined and obstructed the federal investigations into Russian election interference. He also publicly asserted his alleged right to facilitate foreign election interference for his political benefit:
    President Trump said on Wednesday that there would be nothing wrong with accepting incriminating information about an election opponent from Russia or other foreign governments and that he saw no reason to call the F.B.I. if it were to happen again.
    “It’s not an interference,” he said in an interview with ABC News, describing it as “opposition research.” “They have information — I think I’d take it.” He would call the F.B.I. only “if I thought there was something wrong.”

    His comments put him at odds not only with Democratic candidates who have made a point of forswearing help from foreign governments as they seek their party’s nomination to challenge him but also with his own F.B.I. director, Christopher S. Wray, who has said politicians in such circumstances should call his agency.

    When the interviewer, George Stephanopoulos, noted that the F.B.I. director has said a candidate should call, Mr. Trump snapped, “The F.B.I. director is wrong.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/12/u...ussia-fbi.html
    Democratic leadership has commented on who or what is to blame for 2016, even while at odds with Clinton herself:
    "When you lose to somebody who has 40 percent popularity, you don't blame other things - [James] Comey, Russia - you blame yourself," Schumer said in an interview Saturday with The Washington Post.
    "So what did we do wrong? People didn't know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that."

    In May, Clinton blamed former FBI Director Comey and Wikileaks for her election loss.
    “I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me, but got scared off,” Clinton said.

    https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-brief...-loss-to-trump
    "But here's the reality: when Hillary Clinton won the nomination, the DNC handed her insufficient and substandard tools for success," Perez said.

    Perez's comments echo a sentiment Clinton herself expressed earlier this year, when she told Recode that the DNC's data "was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong." Those comments were met with condemnation from some Democratic operatives, including the former DNC director of data science, who called her comments "f---ing bull----."

    https://www.cnn.com/2017/11/06/polit...ton/index.html
    President Barack Obama on Friday blamed media coverage of the election, more than Russian interference, for email-related issues that dogged Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign this year.

    Obama called coverage of the election "troubling," even as he refused to blame hacks believed to have been engineered by Russia for Clinton's loss.

    But he also acknowledged that Democrats, including Clinton, did an inadequate job reaching out to disaffected voters.
    He took some responsibility for failing to build a "sustaining organization" that could help transfer his own electoral success, in part leading to the party's losses in state legislatures and in governor's mansions around the country, as well as in Congress.

    "What I've said is that I can maybe give some counsel and advice to the Democratic Party," he said. "And I think that the thing we have to spend the most time on because it's the thing we have the most control over, is how do we make sure that we are showing up in places where I think Democratic policies are needed ... but where people feel as if they're not being heard, and where Democrats are characterized as coastal, liberal, latte-sipping, politically correct, out-of-touch folks.

    "We have to be in those communities."

    https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2016-12-16/obama-media-more-to-blame-than-russia-in-election
    The initial reaction was to blame Comey:
    For Democrats and some political prognosticators, the answer to their surprisingly bad night is simple: Comey. Specifically, James B. Comey.

    Still, before voting had even finished Tuesday, some of Washington's most senior Democrats were laying the blame at Comey's feet. The top House Democrat, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) told reporters Tuesday evening that Comey's letter to Congress on Oct. 28 was “like a molotov cocktail.”

    “He became the leading Republican political operative in the country — wittingly or unwittingly,” Pelosi said.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...e-night-comey/
    Acknowledging the fact that the DNC email hack and timed release was part of a Kremlin effort to help Trump and hurt Hillary does not scapegoat Moscow for her defeat. Nor does acknowledging party outreach failures to potential lumpenproles equate to blaming said lumpenproles for the election loss.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    And in yet another act of treason that was once unthinkable, Trump fired the head of our intelligence services last week for daring to tell congress the truth about Russia's attack on the US and replaced him with a loyal Putin toady like himself.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    Americans really have a profound admiration for conspiracy theories.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knight of Heaven View Post
    Americans really have a profound admiration for conspiracy theories.
    Conspiracy facts. The United States will clearly never be safe as long as there is a Russia.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coughdrop addict View Post
    And in yet another act of treason that was once unthinkable, Trump fired the head of our intelligence services last week for daring to tell congress the truth about Russia's attack on the US and replaced him with a loyal Putin toady like himself.
    So head of intelligence was fired for incompetence. How is this treason, aside from Rusophobic theories?

  20. #20
    Cope's Avatar Have you no decency?
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    Default Re: Russian and alt-right trolls: Convenient scapegoats?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    So head of intelligence was fired for incompetence. How is this treason, aside from Rusophobic theories?
    Maguire's tenure as acting DNI was up in March. The liberal press are making a mountain out of a mole hill about his resignation (shocking, I know) in order to facilitate this new "Trump the purger" narrative.

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