The Alt-Right media has been in panic mode today, desperately scrambling to defend President Trump against the catastrophic revelations by the FBI confirming that the Commander in Cheif is under investigation for his ties to Russia and its efforts to undermine the 2016 presidential election.
Now, however, the FBI appears ready to implicate multiple ‘far-right’ news outlets themselves in Russia’s grand scheme to sabotage our democracy and deny Hillary Clinton the presidency.
The highly respected McClatchy DC reported late Monday that Russian agents appear to have orchestrated an elaborate cyber campaign, known as ‘bot attacks,’ to bombard social media with pro-Trump content at specific moments of the campaign – notably when then candidate Trump was reeling from scandals and plummeting poll numbers. This pro-Trump content included links to well-known conservative websites.
Citing multiple sources, “…who spoke on condition of anonymity because the bot attacks are part of an FBI-led investigation into a multifaceted Russian operation to influence last year’s elections,” the report names names:
“The bots’ end-products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News, the sources said. Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction. Investigators examining the bot attacks are exploring whether the far-right news operations took any actions to assist Russia’s operatives. Their participation, however, wasn’t necessary for the bots to amplify their news through Twitter and Facebook.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a former U.S. intelligence officer added, “This may be one of the most highly impactful information operations in the history of intelligence.”
The report also cites former Senior Pentagon official Mike Carpenter, whose work during the Obama administration centered on Russia. He’s quoted saying:
“Russian bots and internet trolls sought to propagate stories underground. Those stories got amplified by fringe elements of our media like Breitbart. They very carefully timed release of information to shift the news cycle away from stories that clearly hurt Mr. Trump…”
The unabashedly White-Nationalist Breitbart News was run by current White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon before he assumed the roll of CEO of the Trump Campaign in August of 2016. Breitbart also employed the Nazi-affiliated Sebastian Gorka as its national security editor before he joined the campaign as well. Mr. Gorka is now one of President Trump’s chief counterterrorism advisors.
InfoWars is home to Alex Jones, the combative conspiracy cult-head of the far-right and a surprisingly frequent source of information and ideas for President Trump. The President appeared on the conservative firebrand’s show in 2015, shortly after he declared his candidacy, telling Jones, “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.”
With even Trump’s cheerleaders in the media now officially linked to the Kremlin, can we believe anything coming from his rapidly dwindling band of supporters? And if the FBI’s investigation further substantiates the details of this Russian far-right ‘bot’ attack, can we continue to assume that a massive army of Trump supporters even exists – or ever did exist?
You can read the entire explosive McClatchy DC report here.
Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.