There's an NBC story from Saturday: Russians launched a pro-Jill Stein social media blitz to help Donald Trump win the election, reports say — as well as" another related story in the New York Times, "Secret Experiment in Alabama Senate Race Imitated Russian Tactics." The report was one of two that leaked this week saying the Russian effort to disrupt the election specifically targeted black voters and harnessed America's top social media platforms. But the reports contained another finding that was largely overlooked — the Russians also focused on boosting Stein's candidacy through social media posts like the one from @woke_blacks. The problem is, the company responsible for writing the report, a research team led by the New Knowledge cybersecurity firm, has admitted it "orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet," the report says.
So, as allegations of Russia's online election machinations came to light last year and the mainstream media is bombarding Americans with stories of Russian hacking, the reality is that New Knowledge created a Facebook page on which they posed as conservative Alabamians, using it to try to divide Republicans and even to endorse write-in candidates to draw votes from Roy Moore. It involved a scheme to link the Moore campaign to thousands of Russian accounts that suddenly began following the Republican candidate on Twitter, a development that drew national media attention.
The report claims that the project sought to "enrage and energize Democrats" and "depress turnout" among Republicans, partly by emphasizing accusations that Mr. Moore had pursued teenage girls when he was a prosecutor in his 30s. The project had a budget of just $100,000, in a race that cost approximately $51 million, including the primaries, according to Federal Election Commission records. Look at where the funding came from. Despite its small size, the Alabama project brought together some prominent names in the world of political technology. The funding came from Reid Hoffman, the billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn, who has sought to help Democrats catch up with Republicans in their use of online technology.
The money passed through American Engagement Technologies, run by Mikey Dickerson, the founding director of the United States Digital Service, which was created during the Obama administration to try to upgrade the federal government's use of technology. Sara K. Hudson, a former Justice Department fellow now with Investing in Us, a tech finance company partly funded by Mr. Hoffman, worked on the project, along with New Knowledge CEO Jonathon Morgan.
So, what we have is a report about alleged Russian bot farms impacting the Green Party Stein election and the Roy Moore Alabama campaign, written by an American company, New Knowledge, which was the company that actually engaged in hiring bot farms to impact elections. This is not being covered by mainstream American media.
As the partial government shutdown entered a third day today, President Donald Trump sought to cajole Democrats into a budget agreement, at one point lamenting he was "all alone" waiting for a deal. With little progress on his demand for a $5 billion border wall and most lawmakers away for Christmas, the president repeatedly took to Twitter to argue for the wall funding. He also scheduled a meeting for this afternoon with top Homeland Security officials. Trump blames Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome H. Powell, his own choice for the post, for the steep stock sell-off. Many on Wall Street say Trump deserves some blame, too. The president has complained about Powell for months, but in recent days he's been asking around about whether he can fire Powell, which would be an unprecedented act in the United States and one that would spook markets and banks. What's going on here?
Dr. Ajamu Baraka — American political activist and former Green Party nominee for vice president of the United States in the 2016 election.
Dr. Anthony Monteiro — Author, activist, DuBois Scholar and former professor in the African American Studies department at Temple University
Eugene Craig III — Republican strategist, former vice-chair of the Maryland Republican Party and grassroots activist.
We'd love to get your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org