This morning, Twitter released a massive cache of tweets from the Russian troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency. The list goes back multiple years and provides fascinating insights into how The Kremlin worked itself into US Elections.
While the tweet dump shows that Russia attacked Hillary Clinton from the moment she announced her candidacy, the country slowly evolved on Donald Trump. Candidates such as Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz were also part of their strategy.
Ben Nimmo of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab related to Politico, “Literally from the day Clinton announced her candidacy, they were attacking her. But on the Republican side, in the early days, they seemed to be backing more than one horse.”
Once Trump was able to grab control of the Republican Party, The Internet Research Agency got behind him with their full support. The marriage worked seamlessly as the farm was able to capitalize on how Trump and Putin operate in a similar political style.
According to the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, “Russia’s social media propaganda efforts echo and complement the same set of culture war issue that seizes on to gain political advantage. In a way that most Republicans still refuse to admit, the latest revelations expose Trump and Putin as de-facto political partners.”
While Trump had to fight multiple GOP candidates to win the parties nomination, Clinton was the wire to wire favorite for the Democratic party. This allowed the Internet Research Agency to relentlessly attack her with tweets on a daily basis.
Clinton has been an enemy of Vladimir Putin since 2011 when she opined on the legitimacy of the countries elections. She had “released a statement sharply critical of the voting results, saying they were dishonest and unfair.”
Just how much of an influence the Russian tweets had may never be known. What is known is that the combination of Trump support and anti-Clinton rhetoric made for a potent combination.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.