14:43 GMT +320 November 2017
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    Lindsey Graham

    Still Lacking Evidence, Senate Holds Hearing on Russian Election Interference

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    Cassandra Fairbanks
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    Senator Lindsey Graham’s Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism held a hearing on Wednesday regarding alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election – and once again provided no evidence to substantiate their claims.

    Instead of backing up their allegations, the panel and senators repeated their insistence that Russia deals in “fake news.”

    Graham, a Republican, is a consistent critic of the president and has been one of the leading voices trying to undermine the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency by peddling claims of Russia meddling on his behalf.

    "Propaganda. Espionage. Blackmail. Subversion. The 21st century versions of these are 'fake news,' hacking, kompromat, and 'political capture,’” Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat who leads the committee with Graham, said in his opening remarks.

    "The Russians have been at this for a long time. They've adapted old methods to new technologies – making use of social media, malware, and complex financial transactions – but the tactics themselves are timeless,” Whitehouse continued.

    For his part, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal claimed that meddling constituted an “act of war.”

    “We are under attack and engaged in a war,” Blumenthal claimed. “It is a war directed against our democracy and our economy on a scale that is unimaginable to most Americans.”

    Amid multiple allegations that “Russian propaganda” was a significant aspect of the so-called interference, and perhaps even an “act of war,” Sputnik asked Senator Graham whether he believes that the dozens of American citizens who work for Russian media, including this outlet, are complicit in some sort of crime.

    Graham did not hesitate in his response, immediately saying, “no, no, I think you don’t have to watch RT if you don’t want to."

    “Russian Television, some countries want to take it off the air – I’m not saying that – I’m just saying that there are techniques the Russian government uses and one is using media outlets to spread what I think is fake news and propaganda.”

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    Tags:
    Hacking, Fake News, Election, Senate, Richard Blumenthal, Sheldon Whitehouse, Lindsey Graham, Russia, United States
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