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Russian Social Media Actors Could Influence Mueller Investigation Just Like The 2016 Election

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https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/01/16/spotlight-on-valeants-allergan-settlement.html


United States spy agencies concluded that Russia tried to influence the 2016 presidential election and one way they did this was by spreading fake news among social media platforms. It appears Russia might use the same strategy again to influence Robert Mueller’s investigation, according to two Democrats who serve on intelligence committees.

Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Adam Schiff wrote letters to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey warning Russia could try to influence the investigation. To help their claim, they enlisted the help of website Hamilton 68 that tracks 600 Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations, according to CNBC.

One way those against the investigation is trying to build influence is through the release the memo hashtag. Release the memo concerns the four-page letter the Republicans are wanting to bring to the public that outline surveillance abuses by federal law agencies that are so bad many had trouble believing they exist.

Not surprisingly, Trump and his talk piece Sean Hannity have used the details of the memo to try to discredit Mueller’s ongoing investigation. Hamilton 68 found the use of the hashtag #releasethememo rose by 300,000 percent in a few short days.

In the letter, Feinstein and Schiff state, “ If these reports are accurate, we are witnessing an ongoing attack by the Russian government through Kremlin-linked social media actors acting to intervene and influence our democratic process.” Because of this, they asked the CEOs to conduct an investigation and release their findings to Congress.

Not everyone agrees that the recent use of the hashtag comes from Russian social media actors. A source spoke with CNBC, concluding most of the traffic seemed to be organic in nature.

This makes sense when you consider Hannity has been railing about this for a week and Trump has been trying to build distrust among the public about Mueller’s investigation. These two factors combine to make this a trending topic among the right.

At the same time, given what happened during the 2016 elections, it’s worth a further look because if they find something, that’s obstruction of justice.


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