8:14 AM 10/19/2017 – How Russia Meddled in the 2016 Election

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Democracy Can Plant the Seeds of Its Own Destruction – New York Times

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“One of the suspected accounts, @TEN_GOP, amassed over 130,000 followers while posing as an account operating on behalf of the Tennessee Republican Party before Twitter shut it down, according to BuzzFeed News… 

4. Pokémon Go

Not even the seemingly innocuous augmented reality game was safe from Russian influence. CNN reported in October that the game was used by a Russia-linked group posing as part of the Black Lives Matter movement using a campaign called “Don’t Shoot Us.”

The group used the game to encourage people to find and train Pokémon near areas where alleged incidents of police brutality occurred and give the creatures names of victims of such incidents. A contest was held by “Don’t Shoot Us” offering people Amazon gift cards if they won. It’s unclear if the ploy worked or if the group gave out any gift cards.” 

How Russia Meddled in the 2016 Election

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Is there any internet platform Russia didn’t use in its plot to disrupt the 2016 election?

That’s the question beginning to emerge as the sprawling federal investigations into Russia’s propaganda campaigns reveal new details into Moscow’s disruptive efforts. The short answer: Probably not.

With all the moving parts and new reports bombarding us each week, it’s time to add a bit of clarity to this chaotic mess. Below, we’ve compiled a running list of the platforms Russian agents apparently used in its efforts and how they used them.

It’s important to note that simply because Russia reportedly used these platforms, that does not mean their efforts successfully swayed any votes. They might have, of course, but we’ll never know with certainty what effect Russia’s disruption efforts had—just that they existed.

1. Facebook

Besides being rampant with fake news ahead of the election, the social media giant announced in September that it had sold $100,000 worth of ads to accounts connected to a notorious Russian “troll farm” that was seeking to target younger voters.

The first ads were sold in the summer of 2015 and mostly focused on divisive issues such as gun rights, immigration, LGBTQ rights, and racial discrimination. Roughly 3,000 ads—connected to 470 inauthentic accounts that were likely “affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia”—were found by Facebook and determined to most likely be connected to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian firm known to push pro-Russia propaganda, according to an investigation by Russian news outlet RBC.

Since then the revelation in September, Facebook has been at the center of the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and a representative for the company is scheduled to speak before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Nov. 1. The House Intelligence Committee has also requested the company testify in its hearing on the same day.

2. Google

In early October, Google said it had discovered evidence that Russian operatives purchased between $60,000 to $100,000 in ads across its various platforms, including search, Gmail, and YouTube, according to the Washington Post and New York Times.

Sources told the Post that the entities who purchased the ads through Google’s advertising platforms were likely not the same as those who purchased ads through Facebook. According to the Times, the bulk of the ads appeared alongside search results.

Google has also been asked to testify to testify before the Senate and House intelligence committees. The company has not yet said if it plans to do so.

3. Twitter

Twitter has long struggled to rein in bots and other fake accounts on its platform, hundreds of which the company says are linked to Russian operatives.

Researchers have uncovered Russian-linked accounts promoting stories that push anti-American, anti-Hillary Clinton, and anti-leftist narratives, the New York Times reports. The aforementioned RBC investigation uncovered hundreds of accounts linked to Russian operatives, which the publication says were likely part of the Internet Research Agency’s alleged disinformation campaign. One of the suspected accounts, @TEN_GOP, amassed over 130,000 followers while posing as an account operating on behalf of the Tennessee Republican Party before Twitter shut it down, according to BuzzFeed News.

Like Facebook, Twitter will send staff members to testify before congressional committees on Nov. 1. The company has reportedly already turned over 201 accounts it believes are linked to Russia’s influence campaigns to Senate investigators, according to the Associated Press.

4. Pokémon Go

Not even the seemingly innocuous augmented reality game was safe from Russian influence. CNN reported in October that the game was used by a Russia-linked group posing as part of the Black Lives Matter movement using a campaign called “Don’t Shoot Us.”

The group used the game to encourage people to find and train Pokémon near areas where alleged incidents of police brutality occurred and give the creatures names of victims of such incidents. A contest was held by “Don’t Shoot Us” offering people Amazon gift cards if they won. It’s unclear if the ploy worked or if the group gave out any gift cards.

5. WikiLeaks

Although WikiLeaks denies any collusion with Russia, the U.S. intelligence community believesRussian operatives leaked emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman, John Podesta, which the transparency organization published at the height of the 2016 election cycle.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, has repeatedly pushed back against accusations that its publication of DNC and Podesta emails were intentional efforts to sway the election against Clinton on Russia’s behalf. Regardless, the emails are believed to have benefited Russia—and the theory that WikiLeaks is in the bag for the Kremlin remains alive and well. In fact, Clinton herself accused Assange of being a “tool for Russian intelligence” during a recent interview.

6. Outbrain

The content distribution network Outbrain is investigating ads possibly purchased by Russian operatives on its network, BuzzFeed News reports. Unlike Facebook, Google, and Twitter, Outbrain has not yet said whether any Russian-linked ads were found on its platform.

Outbrain appears on countless sites across the web, including major destinations like <a href=”http://CNN.com” rel=”nofollow”>CNN.com</a> and others, including, at one point, the Daily Dot. Outbrain boasts that it reaches 557 million readers a month. The company said in a statement that it is “currently conducting a thorough investigation specific to election tampering.”

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Tomi Lahren Says Trump Groping The Flag Is #RelationshipGoals. Twitter Disagrees.

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“This is sarcasm right?”

Democracy Can Plant the Seeds of Its Own Destruction – New York Times

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New York Times
Democracy Can Plant the Seeds of Its Own Destruction
New York Times
Trump is the most prominent of the right-wing populist politicians continuing to gain strength both here and in Europe (despite some electoral setbacks), but because the viewpoint he represents is now so widespread, he is in one sense personally 

Vladimir Putin is positioning himself as the puppetmaster of the Middle East – The Independent

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… Vladimir Putin to rely on, rather than a Brezhnev. A vacillating Obama and a lunatic Trump, of course, do the impossible: they make Putin look like a Roosevelt or an Eisenhower – perhaps even the swashbuckling Theodore Roosevelt with his Rough Riders.

Homeland Security sees power grow under Trump – The Hill

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The Hill
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has seen its influence and power expand under President Trump, whose efforts to bolster border security and crack down on illegal immigration have run through the youngest federal department. Homeland Security and more »

Despite backlash over political ads, Facebook’s role in elections will only grow – Los Angeles Times

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Los Angeles Times
Despite backlash over political ads, Facebook’s role in elections will only grow
Los Angeles Times
They spread Russian propaganda and reportedly helped the Trump team suppress black supportfor Hillary Clinton and aided a conservative political action committee in targeting swing voters with scaremongering anti-refugee ads. Yet the backlash is …
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Trump and Putin’s Strong Connection: Lies – Mother Jones

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Mother Jones
Trump and Putin’s Strong Connection: Lies
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Also the author of a 2012 biography of Putin, The Man Without a Face, Gessen of late has been a frequent critic of the authoritarian tendencies of President Donald Trump. She spoke with Mother Jones about the similarities she sees between Trump and and more »

From Facebook to Pokémon Go: How Russia meddled in the 2016 election – The Daily Dot

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The Daily Dot
From Facebook to Pokémon Go: How Russia meddled in the 2016 election
The Daily Dot
Is there any internet platform Russia didn’t use in its plot to disrupt the 2016 election? That’s the question beginning to emerge as the sprawling federal investigations into Russia’s propaganda campaigns reveal new details into Moscow’s disruptive 
Lawmakers Take Action Against Facebook Election PropagandaGizmodo
Russia Probes Spur Lawmakers on Election Security, Social MediaBloombergall 57 news articles »

9:47 PM 10/18/2017 – Russian internet trolls sought to co-opt unwitting American activists – ABC 

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» Russian Intelligence services – Google News: Russian Internet trolls sought to co-opt unwitting American activists – ABC News 18/10/17 17:01 from 1. Trump from mikenova (5 sites) CNN Russian Internet trolls sought to co-opt unwitting American activists ABC News From their desks in St. Petersburg, Russian Internet trolls at a company with ties to Russian President … Continue reading“9:47 PM 10/18/2017 – Russian internet trolls sought to co-opt unwitting American activists – ABC”

Former CIA Director John Brennan says Russian hackers had American help in rigging the election 

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Russian government hackers and propagandists displayed a remarkable familiarity with the delicate intricacies of American politics and social issues during the course of the 2016 election – particularly when it came to their successful efforts to rig the swing states of Wisconsin and Michigan in Donald Trump’s favor. If you’ve come to believe the Russians couldn’t have pulled it off without American help, it turns out you’re in good company.

John Brennan, who was the Director of the CIA during the 2016 election, was interviewed by NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell at a public function on Wednesday. Mitchell asked Brennan if he thought it was possible that Russia could have pulled off such a sophisticated and knowledgeable operation in these swing states. Brennan flatly stated “I find it implausible.” He didn’t specifically say it, but he didn’t need to: the obvious implication is that the Donald Trump campaign helped Russia to hack the election.

Although Brennan is recently retired, he was running the CIA during the election – thus making him the first high ranking government official to outright assert that Americans were helping the Russians to influence the outcome of the election. Brennan didn’t step down until January, meaning that he saw classified evidence on the way out the door that he still can’t talk about. Someone in his position wouldn’t be making these remarks at this time, unless he’s seen the evidence confirming it, and he now believes that evidence will become public.

John Brennan has been much more cautious with his words in the past when it’s come to discussing the topic of election collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia. There’s a reason why he’s now making a much more damning assertion about it. Brennan now appears to believe that it’ll all come out in the end one way or the other.

The post Former CIA Director John Brennan says Russian hackers had American help in rigging the election appeared first on Palmer Report.

Fake Melania Trump? Some think Melania is being impersonated by a Secret Service agent who looks like her

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On a day that was filled with various other kinds of Trump administration chaos, it was Melania Trump who found her way to the top of Twitter’s trending topics list – and for a surreal reason. Donald Trump made a public appearance with a woman who was supposed to be Melania but didn’t quite look like her, and then he protested a little too much about it really being her. It set off a day’s worth of conspiracy theories, including one involving a Secret Service agent.

Here’s the photo that sparked a thousand questions about whether an imposter was pretending to be Melania Trump while standing next to Donald Trump:

On the one hand, upon close inspection, that does not look like Melania. The facial structure is off, the cheekbones are wrong, the hair appears to have been combed forward to obscure her facial features, and the absurdly oversized sunglasses are precisely what an imposter would wear. On the other hand, the most plausible explanation is that Melania was having a bad day and thus simply didn’t look like herself. It happens to everyone on occasion. Then again, this is precisely the kind of cartoonish amateur hour stunt that Trump and his band of idiots would come up with. So what gives?

One popular theory is based around the fact that Melania Trump rather bizarrely has a Secret Service agent assigned to her detail who just happens to look very similar to her (link). Some have suggested that the Trump administration may have purposely had this agent assigned to Melania’s detail so she could be used as an imposter whenever Melania didn’t want to make a public appearance. It’s phenomenally difficult to believe that a Secret Service agent would go along with this kind of scam. Of course this has led some to suggest that she may not even be a real agent, but rather an actress hired to pose as an agent so she’ll have an excuse to be close by, whenever she’s needed for imposter duty.

Of course these popular theories are all based on nothing more than one appearance in which Melania Trump didn’t look like herself. The most likely explanation is that this really was Melania, but she wore so much makeup, it made her face appear to have a different shape. Considering that Donald Trump is a violent sociopath who regularly assaults women and he’s spiraling out of control by the day, perhaps we should be worried about why Melania would try to hide her face with an unusual amount of makeup and oversized sunglasses.

The post Fake Melania Trump? Some think Melania is being impersonated by a Secret Service agent who looks like her appeared first on Palmer Report.

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2:57 AM 10/19/2017 – Trump Investigations Review: Donald Trump Jr and Kellyanne Conway busted in organized Russian propaganda scheme 

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Trump on YT | Latest Post on G+ Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com Current News | Reviews of media reports | Selected reading lists | Video and Audio News | News Topics… Thu, 19 Oct 2017 04:44:53 +0200 Current News | Reviews of media reports | Selected reading lists | Video … Continue reading “2:57 AM 10/19/2017 – Trump Investigations Review: Donald Trump Jr and Kellyanne Conway busted in organized Russian propaganda scheme”
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Trump Investigations – Google Search

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Story image for Trump Investigations from Vanity Fair

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Russia’s ‘House Of Cards’ Lessons

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Russian trolls seeking to destabilize the 2016 election were made to binge watch ‘House of Cards’ to better understand American politics. Here’s what they learned from President Frank Underwood.

Russian Oligarch’s Libel Suit Over Manafort Report Is Dismissed – Bloomberg

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AP, citing interviews and business records, reported on March 22 that Manafort, a political consultant, had secretly worked for the oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, with a plan to “greatly benefit” the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Manafort 
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The secret life of Putin’s ‘chef’ who cooks up more than food – New York Post

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United States investigators believe he was behind a “fake news” campaign that may have helped get Donald Trump into the oval office and that he financed Russia’s “troll factory.” CNN reports that Prigozhin’s company used social media to spread false 
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Former Trump campaign chief Lewandowski huddles with Senate investigators – Washington Post

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Lewandowski is one of several Trump campaign officials whom the Senate Intelligence Committee has interviewed in recent months as part of its probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections and allegations that the Trump campaign 
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Penn State social science researchers collaborate to study opioid epidemic – Penn State News

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Monnat found that these factors are often coupled with long, easy access to opioids and a desire to escape pain, stress, anxiety, shame and hopelessness. She collaborated with David L. Brown, professor of development sociology at Cornell University, on and more »
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Trump Tried To Look Compassionate. Instead, He Looked Like A Jerk.

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He reportedly told the wife of a fallen U.S. service member that her husband knew what he was signing up for.

Tennessee GOP account – Google Search

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Was ‘Tennessee‘ Twitter Account Really Russian Propaganda?

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Russian Internet trolls sought to co-opt unwitting American activists – ABC News

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Michael Hayden fears Russian meddling “narrative” is being lost – CBS News

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Michael Hayden said that he’s troubled that the investigations of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election appear to be playing out in a “political lane.” Hayden, speaking to the National … “There is a sustained campaign on the part of Putin’s Russian and more »

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