The Russians also targeted black folks in their collusion to elect Trump.
It appears that the Russians had a better handle on utilizing social media than eve Facebook, Twitter, and Google.
Two purported Black Lives Matter supporters who endorsed President Donald Trump have been outed as propagandists employed by the Kremlin.
The Daily Beast reports that two wannabe social media stars, who go by the names of Williams and Kalvin Johnson, have recently seen their Facebook and Twitter accounts suspended because they were found to have been part of a Russian propaganda operation to boost support for Trump’s candidacy among black Americans.
In their videos, the two men regularly attack former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as an “old racist b*tch,” while praising Trump for being a pragmatic businessman who couldn’t have succeeded if he’d actually been a racist.
“We, the black people, we stand in one unity,” one of the men said in a video that posted last November. “We stand in one to say that Hillary Clinton is not our candidate.”
The video also claimed that Clinton “is going to stand for the Muslim,” and claimed that this was a reason that black Americans should not support her.
In the video endorsing Trump, one of the men defended accusations that Trump was racist by claiming that “any businessman cannot be a racist because when you are a racist, then your business is going down.” The man then made a “black power” fist and told his viewers to back Trump.
In other videos, Williams and Kalvin highlight cases of police brutality and profess support for the Black Lives Matter movement in an apparent attempt to bolster their credibility among black activists who would otherwise be skeptical of their Trump endorsement.
While the duo’s reach on YouTube is very limited, they apparently had a solid following on Facebook, where their page had 48,000 fans.
Hopefully Mueller can get this thing moving soon. The Creep in Chief’s guilt never really has been an issue since the Russians stole the election for him, and if the collusion was any plainer it would be a TV Show. If we had a Congress which actually respected the Constitution and nation’s laws – they would have impeached him, tried him, convicted his…And hung him by now.
I am hoping Republicans pay dearly for attempting to cover up Chumph’s crimes starting in the 2018 Election, and his co-conspirators in the House and Senate are taken down and sent to jail as well.
Starr, being a Republican Loyalist tries to put lipstick on this pig by saying it’s only the Chumph’s cronies.
In the word’s of Gill Scott Heron’s son “H20Gate Blues” – If Nixon Knew Ag-Knew” referencing the indicted and convicted Vice President under Nixon.
The former independent counsel who prompted the impeachment of President Bill Clinton forecast criminal indictments in the Trump-Russia probe.
Former U.S. solicitor general Ken Starr told CNN’s Michael Smerconish that he believes multiple associates of President Donald Trump would be indicted in the Russia probe conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller, reported Mediaite.
“Given what we do know, especially given what happened this summer with respect to the FBI’s intrusion into Paul Manafort’s condominium, in light of the revelations that we’ve seen about General (Mike) Flynn, I have a sense that there will, in fact, be indictments,” Starr said.
Starr said he would expect some of those associates to accept plea agreements in the case, and he also believes some Russians will also be indicted.
“What I find very interesting, very briefly,” Starr said, “is in light of the information that is now coming out with respect to Russian attempts to influence both the national election and 21 different states, what I expect to see is serious consideration of indicting one or more foreign nationals.”
The former independent counsel also expects Mueller will ask the president to testify under oath in the case.
“It will probably be by invitation,” Starr said. “There will be every effort, I’m confident of Bob Mueller, h’s a complete professional with total integrity, to respect the dignity of the office of the president.”
Nearly every day Russian fingerprints are uncovered all over the Chumph campaign. Their online hacking for Trump was precise, and targeted. To be so, someone had to give the the mailing lists and information relative too who exactly to target. Collusion.
It would also seem that a significant portion of the misinformation campaign swallowed whole hog by the alt-right and racist right owes at least a part of it’s vitriol to Russian spies and propagandists.
Suspected Russia propagandists on Facebook tried to organize more than a dozen pro-Trump rallies in Florida during last year’s election, The Daily Beast has learned.
The demonstrations—at least one of which was promoted online by local pro-Trump activists— brought dozens of supporters together in real life. They appear to be the first case of Russian provocateurs successfully mobilizing Americans over Facebook in direct support of Donald Trump.
The Aug. 20, 2016, events were collectively called “Florida Goes Trump!” and they were billed as a “patriotic state-wide flash mob,” unfolding simultaneously in 17 different cities and towns in the battleground state. It’s difficult to determine how many of those locations actually witnessed any turnout, in part because Facebook’s recent deletion of hundreds of Russian accounts hid much of the evidence. But videos and photos from two of the locations—Fort Lauderdale and Coral Springs—were reposted to a Facebook page run by the local Trump campaign chair, where they remain to this day.
“On August 20, we want to gather patriots on the streets of Floridian towns and cities and march to unite America and support Donald Trump!” read the Facebook event page for the demonstrations. “Our flash mob will occur in several places at the same time; more details about locations will be added later. Go Donald!”
The Florida flash mob was one of at least four pro-Trump or anti-Hillary Clinton demonstrations conceived and organized over a Facebook page called “Being Patriotic,” and a related Twitter account called “march_for_trump.” (The Daily Beast identified the accounts in a software-assisted review of politically themed social-media profiles.)
Being Patriotic had 200,000 followers and the strongest activist bent of any of the suspected Russian Facebook election pages that have so far emerged. Events promoted by the page last year included a July “Down With Hillary!” protest outside Clinton’s New York campaign headquarters, a September 11 pro-Trump demonstration in Manhattan, simultaneous “Miners for Trump” demonstrations in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in October, and a pro-Trump rally outside Trump Tower last November, after his election victory.
The Being Patriotic Facebook page was closed in August 2017—right when Facebook purged accounts secretly operated by a notorious St. Petersburg troll factory called Internet Research Agency. According to a public report by U.S. intelligence agencies (PDF), Internet Research Agency is financed by “a close Putin ally with ties to Russian intelligence.” Being Patriotic’s posts included scores of pro-Trump or anti-Clinton memes framed and watermarked in the same style as those found on the Heart of Texas and Secured Borders Facebook pages previously identified as Russian operations.
The Being Patriotic Twitter account was suspended at around the same time.
A Facebook spokesman told The Daily Beast the company was “not able to confirm any of the details here,” in response to a question about the Russian origin of Being Patriotic, but did not challenge The Daily Beast’s reporting.
On Sept. 6, Facebook acknowledged for the first time that inauthentic accounts from 2015 to 2017 promoted what the company’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, characterized as “divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum.” But Stamos said that most of the fraudulent activity it found—some 3,000 ads connected to 470 now-shuttered accounts linked to Russian troll farms—“didn’t specifically reference the U.S. presidential election, voting, or a particular candidate.”
After The Daily Beast found known Russian accounts that used Facebook’s Events tool to promote rallies inside the United States, the company said that it was not well positioned to determine “if something like coordination occurred” between the Trump campaign and Russia—something investigators and security researchers doubt because of the social network’s massive trove of information on its customers.
But the discovery of the Being Patriotic rallies suggests that the fraudulent activity on Facebook did indeed involve messaging on behalf of Trump, did prompt at least some Americans to rally on Trump’s behalf, and did result in the Trump campaign volunteers subsequently sharing material from those events.
The pro-Trump events represent “the next level” of suspected Russian influence operations, said Clint Watts, a former FBI agent who has testified about those operations to a Senate committee investigating them.
“This would be a direct effort that they attempted that’s more than online promotion,” Watts told The Daily Beast. “‘Let’s organize and try to get people to move to events in a proactive way around a candidate. Again, if it traces back to Russia, you can’t deny that’s foreign influence in an election.”
Railing Against #BLM, Too
The extent of Being Patriotic’s impact is not clear. In June of last year, for example, the Being Patriotic Facebook page asked participants to “gather in front of Trump Tower, N.Y.” The event received call-outs on Facebook and Twitter, and 138 people marked themselves as “attending” on Facebook. Over 400 marked themselves as interested.
March_For_Trump specifically reached out to Nick Toma, a local news anchor in Scranton, Pennsylvania, for coverage of a “Miners for Trump” rally it promoted last October, only a month before the election.
“@NickTomaWBRE Hi, Nick! We’re holding a ‘Miners for Trump’ rally tomorrow. If you’re interested in covering it, please let us know,” March_for_Trump wrote on October 1st.
When Toma was emailed the link to the tweet, he told The Daily Beast: “Don’t recall ever seeing it before.”
Facebook has turned over some of the illicit ads to special prosecutor Robert Mueller after a federal judge issued a search warrant for the material, according to CNN. Facebook also showed congressional investigators that material but did not leave it with them. Legislators investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election have expressed frustration over what they describe as insufficient disclosures to Congress, and have indicated that they will seek public testimony from Facebook and other social-media companies.
Watts, the former FBI agent and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, noted that “plausible deniability is built into any Russian active-measures strategy,” such as using troll farms in St. Petersburg or Macedonia to conceal influence campaigns. But compelling unsuspecting Americans to gather in the streets on behalf of Trump shows the reach and efficacy of those efforts.
The page earned such a large following, a known Macedonian fake news distributor, Nikola Tanevski, purchased BeingPatriotic.com this year, but the page is currently dormant. Tanevski runs popular, pro-Trump fake news factories USATwentyFour.com and TheAmericanBacon.com. Attempts to reach Tanevski did not receive a response.
The layers of deception went beyond Facebook posts and manufactured rallies. When it wasn’t organizing events, Being Patriotic encouraged violence against minorities in incendiary posts. “Arrest and shoot every sh*thead taking part in burning our flag! #BLM vs #USA,” Being Patriotic’s Twitter account posted in April 2016, using the hashtag for the Black Lives Matter protest movement.
The account also advertised a toll-free “Being Patriotic Hotline” to report instances of voter fraud on Election Day.
“Detected a voter fraud? Tell us about it! Call 888-486-8102 or take photo/video and send it to us,” the account wrote on Nov. 8. Being Patriotic’s sister account, @March_for_Trump, plugged the same phone number, as well as a hotline for the “Trump Lawyer Team.” The number is now disconnected.
‘Broward’s Most Famous Trump Fan’
When asked for comment, the White House referred The Daily Beast to the Trump campaign, which, in turn, did not respond to emailed questions. But Susie Wiles, who served as Trump’s campaign manager in Florida, told The Daily Beast that the Broward County portion of the flash mob “was not an official campaign event.”
That’s despite the fact that the event was promoted on “Official Donald J. Trump for President Campaign Facebook Page for Broward County, Florida.” Photos and videos of the demonstration were posted there afterward….
Seems the FBI has been investigating the Chump crew for a while. FBI obtained at least two judicial warrants to wiretap Paul Manafort starting back in 2015.
It now appears Mueller has his second target in the bag, with Michael Flynn already having been assigned a post and blindfold in front of the firing squad.
This one may move quickly, as Mueller has already started issuing subpoenas for the involved.
Two stories that popped overnight suggest that special counsel Robert Mueller is aggressively pursuing Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Trump’s campaign.
— CNN reports that “U.S. investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election”: “The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump. Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation …
“A secret order authorized by the court that handles the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) began after Manafort became the subject of an FBI investigation that began in 2014,” per Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Pamela Brown. “It centered on work done by a group of Washington consulting firms for Ukraine’s former ruling party … The surveillance was discontinued at some point last year for lack of evidence … The FBI then restarted the surveillance after obtaining a new FISA warrant that extended at least into early this year. … Sources say the second warrant was part of the FBI’s efforts to investigate ties between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives. Such warrants require the approval of top Justice Department and FBI officials, and the FBI must provide the court with information showing suspicion that the subject of the warrant may be acting as an agent of a foreign power.”
— The CNN story, parts of which were subsequently confirmed by CBS News, raises a host of fresh questions. Among them:
Was Trump himself picked up on any of the surveillance? CNN says that’s “unclear.” But it’s been widely reported that Manafort and Trump continued to talk after the inauguration and after it was reported that Manafort was under FBI investigation.
When exactly did the second FISA warrant start? The reporters couldn’t figure that out.
What did FBI agents find when, as part of the FISA warrant, they conducted a search of a storage facility belonging to Manafort earlier this year?
The Russians not only manipulated and sodomized the white right through “bots” fooling the white right press into publishing what the Russians wanted in terms of supporting the CHumph…
They even set up “protest marches” attended by the fools using racism as a tool. They used the white Chumph supporters like sex toys…And threw them away. All they had to do was appeal to their racism, and the fools did, and believed whatever the Russians told them.
Pushing fake news was just one component of the Russian campaign to shape American minds. Part two: organizing anti-immigrant events echoing themes from the pro-Trump press.
Russian operatives hiding behind false identities used Facebook’s event-management tool to remotely organize and promote political protests in the U.S., including an August 2016 anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rally in Idaho, The Daily Beast has learned.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to The Daily Beast that the social-media giant “shut down several promoted events as part of the takedown we described last week.” The company declined to elaborate, except to confirm that the events were promoted with paid ads. (This is the first time the social-media giant has publicly acknowledged the existence of such events.)
The Facebook events—one of which echoed Islamophobic conspiracy theories pushed by pro-Trump media outlets—are the first indication that the Kremlin’s attempts to shape America’s political discourse moved beyond fake news and led unwitting Americans into specific real-life action.
“This is the next step,” Clint Watts, a former FBI agent and expert on Russia’s influence campaign, told The Daily Beast. “The objective of influence is to create behavior change. The simplest behavior is to have someone disseminate propaganda that Russia created and seeded. The second part of behavior influence is when you can get people to physically do something.”
Last week Facebook acknowledged for the first time that Russia used false identities and about 3,000 ads to spread politically divisive posts to Americans before and after the election. The content, according to an expert on Facebook’s advertising system, was likely seen by between 23 and 70 million people, based on the $100,000 ad buy alone.
Much of the Russian Facebook propaganda campaign has since been deleted. But bits and pieces remain visible in search-engine caches, including a 2016 notice on Facebook Events—the site’s event-management and invitation tool—announcing an Aug. 27 rally in a rural Idaho town known to welcome refugees.
“Due to the town of Twin Falls, Idaho, becoming a center of refugee resettlement, which led to the huge upsurge of violence towards American citizens, it is crucial to draw society’s attention to this problem,” the event notice began. The three-hour protest was titled “Citizens before refugees,” and would be held at the City Council Chambers beginning at 11 a.m. The notice provided the street address and ended with a fiery exhortation.
By the Constitution, a President’s pardoning power only extends to Federal Crimes…Not State crimes.
The Chumpshit’s veiled threat to pardon co-conspirators and criminal family members just got checked. Meaning the treasonous criminal Chumphshit can’t bribe his accomplices to keep their mouths shut in exchange for a pardon from him.
The initial charges that will bring down the Chumphshit will be filed in State Courts – specifically New York. Meaning the only legal escape for Manafort and other Chumphshit Cartel members will be through their legal defense. The New York AG who sucessflly prosecuted the Chumphshit in a Civil Case on his “Trump University” scam adds to an already powerful and skilled investigation team which now includes the top IRS people on financial fraud. Not to mention that there are likely some Patriotic volunteers who specialize in tracking down corporate criminals like the Chumphshit through international financial channels who can open doors the Feds normally can’t…
It appears Mueller is tightening the noose first by taking down the collaborators.
Politico reported Wednesday that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is teaming up with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in the investigation of former Trump campaign manger Paul Manafort. This is extremely bad news for Manafort and others at the center of Mueller’s broader investigation into the campaign.
Federal rules and Justice Department policy clearly provide for such cooperation and would even allow Mueller to share confidential grand jury information with Schneiderman’s office with court approval. Beyond that, there is always a great deal of information not covered by grand jury secrecy that could be freely shared. But although certainly not unheard of, federal and state prosecutors cooperating in an investigation is relatively unusual, at least in a white-collar case.
It’s unlikely that Mueller needs Schneiderman to charge crimes that Mueller otherwise couldn’t reach. Given the breadth of federal white-collar statutes, if Manafort’s financial dealings violated New York state law, they almost certainly could be charged under federal law as well. Federal charges such as mail and wire fraud, money laundering and RICO allow federal prosecutors to reach even transactions that took place entirely within one state.
The New York attorney general’s office is very highly regarded and has a history of bringing complex financial crime cases. It has been reported that Schneiderman’s office was already investigating Manafort for possible crimes related to his business dealings in New York. But the bottom line is that anything state prosecutors might be looking at, Mueller could also investigate on his own if he chose to do so. So why would Mueller join forces with Schneiderman?
One obvious reason is to pool resources. If Schneiderman’s office has already done work relevant to Mueller’s investigation, it makes sense to share that information rather than unearth it a second time. It’s also important for Mueller’s office to have access to things such as witness statements and testimony that the New York investigators may have already obtained.
But as others have noted, the second possible reason also explains why this news is so significant: It cuts the legs out from under any possible attempt by President Trump to use his pardon power to thwart the investigation.
Trump’s recent pardon of former Maricopa County (Ariz.) sheriff Joe Arpaio raised concerns that it might be seen as a signal to potential witnesses against him. They could refuse to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation and feel confident that Trump would pardon them if they ran into any legal trouble.
But the presidential pardon power extends only to federal crimes. Trump can’t do anything about New York state charges, and he can’t fire Schneiderman. The possibility of serious state charges gives Mueller’s team critical potential leverage that the pardon power threatened to take away…