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Senate Intelligence Report on 2016 Election Details Russian Misinformation Efforts in Florida

October 11, 2019 - 6:00am
Voters wait to cast ballots in Miami on Nov. 6, 2018
Voters wait to cast ballots in Miami on Nov. 6, 2018

As part of a series of reports from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee covering the influence of Russia on the 2016 general election, the latest release has just been made public. This second report, of an expected five to be made in total, details primarily efforts made by Kremlin-backed entities to have an effect on the election via social media influence and astroturf activism.

Of particular focus in this report is the Russian outfit known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA), headquartered in St. Petersburg, Russia. One of the primary objectives of the IRA is to engage in what is described as “virtual and physical influence operations,” a combined effort to sow discord and create wider rifts within this country through digital social media outreach, and on-the-ground efforts in a localized fashion. This last method has a number of actions that took place in the state of Florida, according to the report.

Using a front group called “Florida Goes Trump,” the IRA had operatives in South Florida staging rallies on Aug. 20, 2016. According to a FaceBook page (since taken down) operated by the Russians, the intention was to have rallies in up to 17 cities across the state, but The Daily Beast was able to find evidence on another FaceBook account of at least two of these events. Videos and photos from a Fort Lauderdale rally, and another in Coral Springs, were confirmed.

While this report, and subsequent versions to follow, show clear activity undertaken by Russian interests, what will not be found is any tangible or even alluded-to connection with the Trump campaign. Despite this reality, news outlets, such as Politico, are holding this report up as evidence of Russian meddling, and claiming this undermines claims made by Trump, administration, and their allies that they were not culpable. This, despite the report arriving at no conclusion of any connections, same as the neutered Mueller report.

Further, Politico makes the inaccurate claim that, “There's no evidence of collusion between Ukraine and U.S. Democrats, as Trump and some of his associates have proposed.” In order to make this claim, Politico has to ignore the recorded detail of Ukrainian operative Alexandra Chalupa working closely with the Democratic National Committee, as well as the reports on how the Ukrainian embassy was feeding reports on Trump news items. Hard to see how they avoided this aspect, considering it was covered in the press, including -- in Politico.

This follows the prior established gameplan of the press, which is to loudly tout any suspected connections between Trump and foreign powers, but ignore the proven connections on the other side. Charges of Russian collusion were established by the Steele dossier, using intel from Russian assets and funded by Hillary and the DNC.

The fact is, nobody is disputing that Russia has attempted to influence the 2016 election in some fashion. It has been commonplace from that country for numerous prior elections. Russians had managed to breach some of the outer networks in two Florida counties, but never gained access to our voting system itself. These are all long-established facts, but do nothing to establish collusion.

That Florida was of particular focus of the IRA and other Russian interests is a result of our perennial status as a battleground state. Our consistently close elections made us the ripe arena for Russia to engage in disruptive social media activities. We can expect more of this type of attention again next year.

Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.

Comments

The interesting thing is that it exposes the direct collusion/involvement of the Democrat party with the Russians and Ukrainians.

Oh, gee, talk about Fake News --> "The fact is, nobody is disputing that Russia has attempted to influence the 2016 election in some fashion." . . . . . . just to cite one of many, many denials by the President --> May, 2017 "this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story." Trump continued in that interview to say, "It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should've won." . . . . . .and as to the 2020 election, he's at it again --> August, 2019 "REPORTER: Mr. President, Robert Mueller said last week that Russia is interfering in the U.S. elections right now. Is that -- TRUMP: "Oh you don't really believe this. Do you believe this? Ok, fine. We didn't talk about it. I spoke with President Putin of Russia yesterday." . . . . . . denying a blatant lying President is simply . . . . . PATHETIC . . . . .

The accurate denial is “with Trump”. No one denies Russia was meddling. There has been no connection established with the Trump campaign however.

Yeah, yeah, you must be right . . . . . which is why the Trump push was out earlier this year to demonstrate someone in Ukraine did it . . . . . . . even in his now infamous call with Zelensky . . . . . . clearly, Trump can't proclaim (without immediately contradicting himself) that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help his election . . . . . . of course, he lies so often, and spouts so many conspiracy theories . . . . . . well, that's just (like his presidency) . . . . . . . PATHETIC . . .

Um bah ga doi

Another intelligent post from our resident SSNer who doesn't even know their own name and has nothing to say . . . . . . PATHETIC

It's clearly obvious that the Russians chose to interfere with the 2016 election in Texas and Florida, believing that those two states would carry Trump to victory. As it turns out, the Russians also contributed sizeable sums of money to Trump's campaign - and even to DeSantis. No question that Russian money has supported Trump in his business ventures since 1990, or thereabouts, when normal means of finance dried up after his six bankruptcies. Now, Trump is paying off some of that financing by favoring policies and practices that favor those Russians and various of their interests in the world. Right now - no doubt Erdogan threatened to shut down Trump's two "Trump Towers" in Istanbul unless Trump gave him free reign in Syria! There's NEVER been corruption as bad as Trump Corruption!

Good thing the Russians weren't able to flip Florida & Texas to Adolph Rodham Hitlary.

Listen to what Lee Stranahan has to say------https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyk3xXrMocs

Trump is - and has always been a useful Russian fool/tool. Trump's Tea Party crowd ate it up. We now are where we are, in the crosshairs of what Trump has accomplished on behalf of Russian national interests and Putin's Russian Mafia. Let's hope Trump's damage to the integrity of this country, and it's national security and economic interests, worldwide, can be contained.

Absolutely! Apparently, the people that voted for Trump, who continue to enable him, and who continue to support him are also members of that tribe or cult you call "Russian fools/tools". They used to say that Mexico was going to take over the U.S. without firing a shot - - - but, now, it really seems to be Russians doing it! Election Day, 2016, was an extremely sad day for America!

The riots and assault by the far left debunk your rant.

The "riots and assault" you refer to actually occur at Trump's absurd and demented pep rallies!

...caused by democRATs

So Brad Slager is a conspiracy theorist who believes that Ukraine supported Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign. This claim has been completely debunked. Read the bipartisan Senate report that says the Russians supported Trump and opposed competing Republican primary candidates including Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

I'd suggest reading the actual article. Despite Politico's claims, there is a link detailing Ukrainian activities in support of Hillary's campaign -- from Politico itself.

Read & weep Dumocrats (and get those "Hillary Crying Towels" dry cleaned and ready for 2020 and 2024...AND BEYOND!)

It's going to be the biggest laugh of all time - and, certainly, the hilarious last laugh we'll all have on Trump - if Biden's campaign becomes too damaged by Trump's Russian scandal to succeed - if Sanders loses favor or drops out because of health issues - and if the people running the Democratic Party don't really want to get behind Warren - - - and Hillary Clinton runs again - - - and wins! LOL, LOL, LOL - - - LOL, LOL, LOL

You so nutty!

What about the misinformation that's distributed by OUR politicians? Those carpetbaggers and truth twisters ....

Brad, Trump's actions says he wants Russian help which started with a vengeance right after Trump asked publicly for Clinton E mails was documented in that reports ...………..Saying otherwise is a lie...……….Fact Trump's love of Putin in so many ways is clear that would chill the heart of a true patriot......Do you love Putin like Trump does Brad?…...The recent Turkish invasion Trump just green lighted massacre of our Kurdish allies is the latest favor to Putin which will take back over the area, extending Russian control...………..Not to mention free many ISIS fighters to rampage again...…You good with that?...….…... Trump, repubs are fiscally and morally bankrupt they prove more every day with now 18% of the repubs left are for Trump's impeachment , removal from office shows there are some true conservatives left....….........And does not bode well for incompetent, corrupt Trump.

Brad's just a puerile, parroting, partisan, propagandizing, wingnut. Let him be. The stuff he peddles is meaningless.

...and Hillary has a 98% likelihood of winning. Again! Ha ha ha!

Robert Mueller should have interviewed you! His 2 year investigation failed to find your claims!

So it turns out, Rick Scott is the one who was 'confuuuused.'

Stupido Scott is just one of the much lower-ranked players in Boardwalk Donnie's Coney island crime family.

Ibble gibble gobbledee guupeldee glub

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