Ms. Kaverzina grew worried after Facebook revealed last September that it was cooperating with the authorities to look into Russian advertising on the platform. “We had a slight crisis here at work: the F.B.I. busted our activity (not a joke),” she wrote to a relative, according to the indictment. “So, I got preoccupied with covering tracks together with the colleagues,” she added. “I created all these pictures and posts, and the Americans believed that it was written by their people.”
Mr. Podkopaev was an analyst for the “translator project.” He conducted research on the United States and drafted social media messages for the organization, according to the indictment.
Mr. Vasilchenko posted to, monitored and updated social media accounts while posing as Americans or as American grass-roots organizations. He led two subgroups focused on political interference in the United States, including the election. On Vkontakte, he shared a meme in October 2016 that imagined a drinking game in which players took a shot every time Mr. Trump talked about building a wall along the Mexican-United States border or making America great again, told voters to believe him, or complained about being treated unfairly; and every time Mrs. Clinton coughed, sipped water, laughed awkwardly, or mentioned her daughter or President Barack Obama.
Mr. Venkov inhabited multiple social media personas, according to the indictment. Someone with that name belongs to a Facebook group of social media marketing professionals and posted a photo last May of himself wearing a Republican elephant pin.
Yes, we hired Mr. Steele, a highly respected Russia expert. But we did so without informing him whom we were working for and gave him no specific marching orders beyond this basic question: Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?
What came back shocked us. Mr. Steele’s sources in Russia (who were not paid) reported on an extensive — and now confirmed — effort by the Kremlin to help elect Mr. Trump president. Mr. Steele saw this as a crime in progress and decided he needed to report it to the F.B.I. The Republicans’ Fake Investigations
Let that sink in, the guy looking for dirt on Trump discovered a crime in progress.
On January 3, 2018 we have this piece in the UK Guardian:
“If Europe was important, however, finding the means to sow doubt and insecurity about the political system in the United States, the last remaining superpower, was the big prize.
Television has been relentless in trying to paint the American system as flawed, suggesting that the process was not better than that in Russia. One prominent Russian politician even joked about it before the votes came in.
Gennadi A. Zyuganov, the longstanding leader of the Communist Party, said that Mrs. Clinton was smart but not good for Russia. “If Americans will vote honestly, I think Trump will make it, but if they will vote like here, then Hillary will win,” he said.
If the Cold War was rooted in ideological differences, the new Russian goal is to show that all political systems are equally bad. Also by interfering in conflicts like those in Ukraine and Syria, Mr. Putin has sought to reassert Russia’s role as a global power to be reckoned with.
Dmitry Kiselyev, the most prominent anchor on state television, called the United States election campaign the dirtiest in that country’s history, saying it provoked “disgust” toward what is somehow still called democracy.“
The photo that illustrates the story in the New York Times gives me chills:
I like to say the difference between a Conspiracy Theory and a Conspiracy are facts.
Fifteen years ago, a few months into his presidency, Vladimir V. Putin told Larry King on CNN that his previous job as a K.G.B. officer had been like that of a journalist. “They have the same purpose of gathering information, synthesizing it and presenting it for the consumption of decision makers,” he said. Since then, he has excelled at using the media to consolidate power inside Russia and, increasingly, to wage an information war against the West.
So the apparent hacking by Russian security services of the Democratic National Committee emails, followed by their publication by WikiLeaks, should come as no great surprise to Americans. It is only the latest example of how Mr. Putin uses information as a weapon. And the Kremlin has cultivated ties with WikiLeaks for years.
“US intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the presidential election and in US political institutions, intelligence and congressional officials said.”
Propaganda is closely integrated with the Kremlin’s model of ambiguous warfare, which relies on rapid action, covert troops, the creation of a digital fog of war, and inflaming ethnic and sectarian tensions. Western governments shouldn’t overreact to RT’s presence in the West. But they can take the opportunity to revamp and modernize their own public diplomacy, targeting ethnic-Russian audiences to ensure that accurate reporting stands a chance amid the blizzard of Moscow’s lies.
Fact: Russia is the confirmed the culprit in the computer hacks on the DNC.
But intelligence officials have cautioned that they are uncertain whether the electronic break-in at the committee’s computer systems was intended as fairly routine cyberespionage — of the kind the United States also conducts around the world — or as part of an effort to manipulate the 2016 presidential election.
The U.S. said publicly for the first time that intelligence agencies are “confident that the Russian government directed” the hacking of American political groups and leaked stolen material in order to interfere with the Nov. 8 election.
“These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process,” the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security said in a joint statement on Friday. “We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”
Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.
The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials, and the security experts
Fact: Trump’s first act as President is the unleashing of Vladimir Putin
Putin “called to offer his congratulations on winning a historic election,” according to a Trump statement. The two leaders discussed issues including shared threats, strategic economic issues, and the historical US-Russia relationship.
The two men also spoke about working to normalize relations between the two countries and emphasized the importance of creating a foundation of bilateral ties through trade, the Kremlin said.
They also discussed the need for “joint efforts in the fight against common enemy No. 1” — international terrorism and extremism.