Sen. Mark Warner: Russia Used Internet Trolls To “Push Out Disinformation And Fake News” Which Was “Then Hyped By The American Media Echo Chamber”

Warner: “This Is Not Innuendo Or False Allegations. This Is Not Fake News. This Is Actually What Happened To Us”

From CNN’s coverage of the March 30 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Disinformation: A Primer in Russian Active Measures and Influence Campaigns:

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SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): As this hearing begins, let's take just one moment to review what we already know. Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, ordered a deliberate campaign carefully constructed to undermine our election. First, Russia struck at our political institutions by electronically breaking into the headquarters of one of our political parties and stealing vast amounts of information. Russian operatives also hacked emails to steal personal messages and other information from individuals ranging from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta to former Secretary of State Colin Powell. This stolen information was then weaponized. We know that Russian intelligence used the quote, unquote “Guccifer 2” persona, and others like Wikileaks, and seemingly choreographed times that would cost maximum damage to one candidate. They did this with an unprecedented level of sophistication about American presidential politics that should be a line of inquiry for us on this committee, and candidly, while it helped one candidate this time, they are not favoring one party over another and consequently should be a concern for all of us.

Second, Russia continually sought to diminish and undermine our trust in the American media by blurring our faith in what is true and what is not. Russian propaganda outlets like RT and Sputnik successfully produced and peddled disinformation to American audiences in pursuit of Moscow's preferred outcome. This Russian propaganda on steroids was designed to poison the national conversation in America. The Russians employed thousands of paid internet trolls and botnets to push out disinformation and fake news at a high volume, focusing this material onto your Twitter and Facebook feeds and flooding our social media with misinformation. This fake news and disinformation was then hyped by the American media echo chamber and our own social media networks to reach and potentially influence millions of America. This is not innuendo or false allegations.This is not fake news. This is actually what happened to us. Russia continues these sorts of actions as we speak.


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