The role of Russian-generated fake news has not received much attention up until now but investigators are now exploring the part it “played in depressing the Clinton vote in key states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania in the critical last days of the 2016 campaign,” reports Julian Borger in The Guardian.
Did Trump supporters and far-right websites coordinate with Moscow over the release of fake news, or pay to boost fake anti-Clinton news stories on Facebook? And help change the course of recent American history?
Brad Parscale, head of the Trump digital camp, has reportedly been asked to testify before by House intelligence committee while the Senate intelligence committee’s top Democrat, Mark Warner, has said that at least one-thousand “paid internet trolls working out of a facility in Russia” were continually generating and distributing anti-Clinton fake news on social media sites—targeting key voters in swing states—during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“In a 30-day period, dozens of full-blown sites appeared overnight, running full level productions posts. It screamed out to me that something strange was going on,” John Mattes, an aide to the Sanders campaign, told Borger.
Special counsel, Robert Mueller, is also looking into whether GOP and Trump campaign operatives coordinated with Russian fake news factories and far-right sites in the US.