Christopher Steele’s firm, Fusion GPS was hired by Donald Trump’s campaign, yet at the same time was also hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. These commissioned reports from Steele calls into question whether this could lead to a new election. Christopher Steele is a former British intelligence officer of MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service of the United Kingdom. Christopher Steele is known as the “Trump Dossier” for his involvement in revealing Trump and his possible connections to Russia. Steele initially wrote a report for Buzzfeed 10 days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration. At the time Steele’s name was anonymous and not linked to the report initially. The report talked about possible dirt on President Donald Trump: allegations that he has worked with Russia for several years. In a NY Times article, it is confirmed that the report consisted of, “ … memos [that] allege a multifaceted conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to help Mr. Trump defeat Mrs. Clinton. The memos also detail unsubstantiated accounts of encounters between Mr. Trump and Russian prostitutes, and real estate deals that were intended as bribes, among other claims about Mr. Trump’s businesses.” The report can be read here.
Russians Linked to Fake Black Activist Accounts
By Isabel Paner
Fake Black activist accounts under the handle Blacktivist have been linked to the Russian government as part of their attempt to amplify racial tensions in the U.S. and influence the 2016 election. The Facebook and Twitter accounts regularly posted content aimed to incite outrage and divide Americans, including videos of police brutality against African-Americans.
"We live under a system of racism and police are directly letting us know how they feel and where we stand,” read the caption underneath a video posted by their Facebook account addressing an incident in July where a police dog was seen biting an African-American man in handcuffs.
The fake Russian Blacktivist Facebook account amassed 360,000 likes, which was more than the verified Black Lives Matter account, which had 301,000 likes. According to CNN, “The page also publicized at least seven rallies and demonstrations around the country in 2016.” These events included the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party March and a march commemorating the death of Freddie Gray.
"Black people should wake up as soon as possible," posted the Twitter account.
"Black families are divided and destroyed by mass incarceration and death of black men," another tweet read.
But despite the Blacktivist accounts quickly gathering a following, others were suspicious of the pages that had popped up out of nowhere without an identity behind who ran it. The Guardian UK reported that Heber Brown III, a pastor, community organizer, and activist from Baltimore, “thought it was just another person who wanted to take advantage of the misery and pain of black people in Baltimore.” Another activist, Jamye Wooten, thought it might have been undercover police spying on protesters.
Neither had any idea it would actually be the Russian government.
The passionate rhetoric posted by these Blacktivist accounts seemed to fool the public, promoting Black Lives Matter protests and interacting with activists online in a realistic way. After contacting the account, Wooten said the page “did a good job of creating an online narrative.”
In another exchange between Brown and the Blacktivist Facebook account, Brown criticized the imposter for organizing a rally without starting a conversation and listening to other activists first. The account’s response is seemingly sympathetic and apologetic.
Experts in Russian History and US Civil Rights said that even though Black Lives Matter did not play a role in the US election and the Blacktivist accounts were not directly linked to it either, Russia still capitalized on existing racial tensions in the US by using the fake accounts to create distrust and exacerbate divisive attitudes.
“I found it very disturbing that there was this orchestrated, well-funded attempt to exploit our divisions,” said Antonio French, an activist and Black Lives Matter supporter from Ferguson.
For activists, the propaganda is frustrating and shifts the attention from systemic racism in the U.S. “Our biggest concern is our local government, how black lives are being treated in America, not so much Russia’s possible interference,” said Wooten. “That’s not anywhere near the top of our list of concerns.”
How the Public/Media Are Responding to Trump Campaign Head Indictment
By Madeleine Sabin
With everything going on around the Trump campaign manager indictment, it’s hard to decipher what is really going on. So how is the media responding and covering all of it? How are some important political heads responding? Just to sum up the event, on Monday Donald Trump's campaign manager surrendered himself to the FBI. Some of the charges include among others: involve money-laundering, tax evasion, illegal lobbying, and lying. These charges could mean up to twenty years in Federal prison. One Fox news staffer was so embarrassed by the network’s coverage that they said they wanted to quit. Several quotes from Trump show that his defense on the matter is that it is “old news,” and a long time favorite, “fake news.”
A direct tweet from the POTUS himself