Report: Sanders Supporters Targeted By Russian Pro-Trump Fake News Sites

Bernie Sanders campaigning in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan 9, 2016. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore.

According to a report published by The Guardian, pro-Trump fake news websites got help from Russian operatives in their effort to smear Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton. The report also found that Bernie Sanders supporters were targeted by these websites with false anti-Clinton news stories to prevent them from endorsing Clinton.

Dozens of Anti-Clinton Websites Appeared Overnight

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the House and Senate intelligence committees are mulling over the possibility of such collusion during the 2016 presidential campaign. Journalist John Mattes, who worked on the Sanders campaign, recalls that there was a tidal wave of “fake news” about Clinton as she was inching closer to securing her party’s nomination.

Mattes told The Guardian that, over a single month, “dozens of full-blown sites appeared overnight.”

It screamed out to me that something strange was going on,

he added.

Mattes’ team tracked nearly half of the false material back to eastern European countries. What’s more is all four Facebook posters that spread false news stories about the Democratic candidate were named the same – Oliver Mitov. The false stories included a narrative that Clinton had personal gains from arming Islamic terrorists. When the U.S. journalist tried to befriend one of the Facebook users, he got no response.

Sanders Campaign Targeted by ‘Cyber Warfare Campaign.’

According to Mattes, the Sanders campaign was infiltrated by foreign agents just because it was too transparent. The reporter thinks the campaign was jammed by “an international cyber warfare campaign.”

Moreover, the suspicious websites were shut down as authorities started to investigate the Trump-Russia collusion. Mattes said that 95% of the websites vanished overnight. He wondered what those sites were hiding and why they had to go offline as soon as the probe began.

Mattes thinks that the mission of those websites was to smear Clinton, and after the primaries, to prevent Sanders supporters from switching support to her.
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