The Senate Intelligence Committee held its first hearing on Russian interference in the U.S. election on Thursday. The committee heard from a series of expert witnesses on Russia’s use of “active measures” and manipulating social media with “fake news” (propaganda) and “bots,” and an army of trolls to influence media narratives and voters.
One of the more compelling witnesses was former FBI special agent Clint Watts, who testified that “part of the reason active measures worked in this U.S. election is because the Commander-in-Chief [Trump] has used Russian active measures at times, against his opponents.” Think Progress reports, Former FBI agent details how Trump and Russia team up to weaponize fake news:
During the first public Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about Russia’s meddling in the presidential election on Thursday, former FBI special agent Clint Watts explained how Russia and the Trump campaign team up to weaponize fake news.
Asked by Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) about why Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to make more of an effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election than in years past, Watts, who is now a a fellow at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, said, “the answer is very simple and it’s what nobody is really saying in this room.”
“Which is, part of the reason active measures have worked in this U.S. election is because the Commander-in-Chief [Trump] has used Russian active measures at times, against his opponents,” Watts continued.