Just when you thought the entire Donald Trump-Russia connection story couldn’t get more Byzantine or far-ranging, we learn a new detail that makes us sit up and take notice.
McClatchy News is reporting that the FBI is also investigating to determine if far-right media also played a role in helping the Russians influence the election in favor of Donald Trump and the Republicans. McClatchy reports:
“Under particular scrutiny are strategically timed the computer commands, known as ‘bots,’ to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton.”
Of particular interests are bots which directed people to stories featured on Breitbart and InfoWars, two sites known to be favorites of the so-called president. Senior Trump adviser Steve Bannon is the former CEO of Breitbart. The report from McClatchy details the connection of the two news sites:
“The bots’ end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News, the sources said. Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction.”
Additionally, the Russians also used “trolls” in the form of trained computer operatives who posted comments favorable to Trump and which disparaged Hillary Clinton. Those trolls:
“Likely worked from a facility in St. Petersburg, Russia, dedicated to that tactic.”
Mike Carpenter, a former senior Pentagon official, commented:
“Russian bots and internet trolls sought to propagate stories underground. Those stories got amplified by fringe elements of our media like Breitbart.”
“They very carefully timed release of information to shift the news cycle away from stories that clearly hurt Mr. Trump, such as his inappropriate conduct over the years.”
Breitbart did not respond to requests for comment, but Alex Jones, head of InfoWars, told McClatchy:
“I’m not gonna sit here and say,’‘I’m not a Russian stooge, because it’s a (expletive) lie.”
Jones also tried to cast blame on those allied with the left in the United States, saying the issue arose from “this whole ridiculous narrative of the bitching left.”
One wonders who will be “bitching” if and when Jones is carried off in handcuffs for betraying his country.