Today the Department of Justice announced 13 indictments against Russian nationals for their activities during the 2016 election. The indictments reveal a sprawling and sophisticated misinformation campaign, funded by millions of dollars some of which paid for ads on multiple social media platforms. The detailed indictments show how Russia duped Americans into working for them, exacerbated political divisions, and targeted Hillary Clinton to boost Trump’s candidacy.
The Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 dropped a bombshell today in the form of 13 indictments against Russian Nationals that explained, in staggering detail, how Russians, supported by Putin’s government, attempted to influence the 2016 election
The Mueller indictments detail an extremely well-organized & effective Russian attack on American democracy with the goals of electing Trump, turning Americans on one another, and undermining faith in our democratic system. Unfortunately, their efforts have undeniably paid off.
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) February 16, 2018
The indictment against the 13 Russians is incredibly specific and detailed. If true, it provides irrefutable proof of payment, coordination, and enhanced propaganda efforts by the Russian Government to support Donald Trump and disparage Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) February 16, 2018
"The engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton… and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.”https://t.co/6Z2vKjh90k pic.twitter.com/y0g8LEBbN4
— Ryan J. Reilly ? (@ryanjreilly) February 16, 2018
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments at a press conference:
Deputy AG Rosenstein: Russians "posed as politically and socially active Americans, advocating for and against particular candidates. They established social media pages and groups to communicate with unwitting Americans." pic.twitter.com/GsbvKiwXRS
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 16, 2018
The indictments specifically name the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm in St. Petersburg that employs hundreds of people who pose as Americans on social media platforms. The indictments say Russians purchased server space in the United States to hide their activities and create a virtual private network.
The Russian operation was sophisticated and well-funded
This Russian operation had staff in the hundreds, and a monthly budget of $1.25 mil PER MONTH by Sept. 2016 — for context, this is more manpower and resources than most Republican presidential campaigns.
— Elise Jordan (@Elise_Jordan) February 16, 2018
Russians posed as Americans on social media, creating fake accounts and using them to push political messages
— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) February 16, 2018
They also purchased ads on social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube
Tag yourself. I’m “Hillary is a Satan” pic.twitter.com/WyiVmWJSDB
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) February 16, 2018
The Russians focused their activities on “purple” swing states like Florida to maximize their impact
From the Palm Beach Post in September, here are details on the West Palm Beach event the Russians allegedly initiated and paid someone to dress as a locked-up Clinton at. https://t.co/5Cm3u0TlKC pic.twitter.com/7nFlVIWBfT
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 16, 2018
Russians coordinated political rallies using unwitting American accomplices.
Similar to the Republican Party, the Russians tried to depress minority turnout knowing it would hurt Democrats
Jesus. Mueller's indictment says the accused Russians tried to suppress minority turnout: pic.twitter.com/FCkicyOGRl
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) February 16, 2018
The Russians used unwitting American accomplices, including some working for the Trump campaign
? Mueller: Russians communicated with individuals associated with the Trump campaign and other political activists to coordinate political activities ? pic.twitter.com/m1NSELNNir
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) February 16, 2018