As investigators in the House, Senate and Robert Mueller’s office continue to dig through evidence provided to them by social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, a faucet of new information has been seemingly turned on. While last week we learned that Russians, possibly connected to the Kremlin, had spent tens of thousands of dollars for pro-Trump ads on Facebook, this morning CNN has learned that this was not a disorganized operation by any means.
In fact, according to sources speaking on the condition of anonymity to CNN, Russians targeted, not only specific geographic regions within the United States, but they also specifically targeted ads to those individuals who appeared to have been susceptible to anti-Muslim messages.
If you recall from election night, the States of Michigan and Wisconsin were two of the closest races in the entire nation. In fact, Trump beat out Clinton by just 10,700 votes in Michigan and 22,700 votes in Wisconsin. Despite winning both states by less than 1%, these states pretty much handed him the presidency.
According to sources speaking to CNN, Wisconsin and Michigan were both specifically targeted by the Russian social media accounts via advertising. The same advertisements also apparently tried to make Hillary Clinton out to be a friend of Muslims, and pushed the message that Trump would halt the Muslim influx into America. If these sources are accurate, not only will this prove that Russian operatives spent money to promote the presidency of Donald Trump, but that they did so in a sophisticated manner, not much different than the way an actual campaign’s marketing team would.
“Obviously, we’re looking at any of the targeting of the ads, as well as any targeting of efforts to push out the fake or false news or negative accounts against Hillary Clinton, to see whether they demonstrate a sophistication that would be incompatible with not having access to data analytics from the campaign,” the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff told CNN last night. “At this point, we still don’t know.”
Whether Russians were working with the Trump campaign to gain access to key data analytics is yet to be seen, but it can be assumed that investigators will eventually find out. Let’s hear your thoughts on this story in the comments section below.