Broadcasting from NBC’s DC-based studios this morning, the Morning Joe panel turned their attention to yesterday’s McClatchy bombshell report regarding a new twist in Russian election interference story. According to the report, investigators are focusing on a data mining operation, ostensibly overseen by White House senior advisor Jared Kushner, and the possible coordination with a very targeted disinformation campaign allegedly run by a Russian “bot” effort on social media.
Investigators are reportedly examining whether the Trump campaign’s digital operation helped guide Russia in helping voters with fake news attacks on Hillary Clinton during the election. The president’s son-in-law oversaw digital strategy for the Trump campaign, and now the congressional Intelligence committee and the Justice Department reportedly to want to know if the Trump campaign helped direct Russian cyber operatives and “bots” to specific voting districts in targeted states.
The report cites people familiar with both inquiries and one source familiar with the Department of Justice probe revealed to McClatchy they doubt the Russians would have “known where to specifically target … to which high-impact states and districts in those states.”
Perhaps coincidentally, this appears to be the exact scenario described by Secretary Clinton six weeks ago during a public interview she conducted at the Code Conference in late May. At that conference, Clinton reminded the audience that “seventeen agencies, all in agreement, concluded with high confidence that the Russians ran an extensive information war campaign against my campaign to influence voters in the election,” and claimed that they “could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided.”
She then brought attention to data mining outfit Cambridge Analytica, which is owned by Billionaire Trump supporter Robert Mercer (which has also been linked to current White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.) Working together, Secretary Clinton said, created a powerful force “that married content with delivery and data. And it was a potent combination.”
She concluded that Russian interference efforts must have been “guided by Americans,” and voters that were “targeted with this false information” were those who were “genuinely trying to make up their minds.” Her logic ostensibly arrived at this notion, because based on Google search information, “searches for this stuff were particularly high in places in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.”
Though critics see this as a conspiracy, Clinton’s case of how collusion between the RNC, Cambridge Analytica and the Russians might have happened appears to be exactly what Federal investigators are reportedly looking into.
As Joe Scarborough summed up, “Hilary Clinton didn’t go to Wisconsin, but the Russians did.”
Watch the clip above courtesy of MSNBC.
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