Trump has become a “cog” of Russian active measures against his political opponents..
The Senate Intelligence Committee uncovered some very interesting information about Russian active measures. Clinton Watts, a fellow at the George Washington Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, testified how Russian disinformation is used and the President has become a “cog” in Russian active measures against his political opponents. The Senate and House Intelligence Committees are both conducting investigations to determine the involvement of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election and each has vowed to follow the evidence wherever it may lead. The FBI is currently conducting a criminal investigation into any coordinating by Trump campaign officials and the Russian interference.
The Washington Post is reporting on today’s events here.
“I think this answer is very simple and is one no one is really saying in this room,” he said. Part of the reason, he went on, “is the commander in chief has used Russian active measures at times against his opponents.”
To buttress the claim that Trump (unwittingly or not) aided Russian disinformation efforts, Watts cited several instances. Among them: Trump’s citation of an apparently false Sputnik story at an October 2016 campaign appearance; his ongoing denial before and after the campaign of U.S. intelligence of Russian interference in the election; his claims of voter fraud and election rigging, which Watts said was pushed by RT and Sputnik; and Trump’s questioning of the citizenship of former President Barack Obama and even his primary rival Ted Cruz.
Watts added that one of the reasons such tactics are working is that Trump and/or his surrogates have repeated some of the claims, further spreading them through social media accounts that are owned both by real people and bots. Thus, the disinformation is kept alive and gradually becomes more real and plausible. “Part of the reason active measures work is because they parrot the same lines,” Watts said. More from the Washington Post here.