The Senate Intelligence Committee will release a new report this week that has the results of a study of the millions of social media posts provided to Congress detailing Russian efforts to help elect President Donald Trump, according to a Washington Post story Sunday.
According to the Post, the report details a massive “Russian disinformation campaign around the 2016 election” which “used every major social media platform to deliver words, images and videos tailored to voters’ interests to help elect President Trump — and worked even harder to support him while in office.”
“What is clear is that all of the messaging clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party — and specifically Donald Trump,” the report says. “Trump is mentioned most in campaigns targeting conservatives and right-wing voters, where the messaging encouraged these groups to support his campaign. The main groups that could challenge Trump were then provided messaging that sought to confuse, distract and ultimately discourage members from voting.”
The Senate committee hasn’t endorsed the conclusions in the report, which was prepared by Oxford University researchers. According to the Post, they obtained a draft before it was made available to the public.
The findings are considered reliable because the report was prepared based on data provided to the Senate committee (and members of the House Intelligence Committee) by companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc.
The report by the Oxford researchers gives many new details about the previously known efforts by the Russian government’s Internet Research Agency to support Trump’s election in 2016. The Russians worked through massive social media posting as well as advertising campaigns. Their goal was to undermine democracy in the United States in addition to helping Trump become president. They did this by inflaming passionate divisions that already existed in the U.S. electorate. They published millions of posts on such controversial topics as race and gun laws.
According to the Post, the report said the companies who gave Congress the data did not provide all the useful information they needed. In fact, they accused Facebook of sharing only posts from Russian accounts that bought ads and not those from other Russian government accounts. “The researchers struggled to interpret” data from Google’s YouTube as well, the newspaper said.
Neither the companies involved, nor the Senate Intelligence Committee, provided comments to the Post, although with a bombshell revelation such as this, there is sure to be more information to follow in the very near future. The full report is expected to be released to the public later this week.
Not that we needed it, but this report will provide additional confirmation that Donald Trump was elected with the help of the Russian government, and therefore he is an illegitimate president and should be removed from office.