On Wednesday afternoon, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders appeared on Vermont Public Radio for an interview where he was asked why he didn’t warn his supporters of the Russian bots on the internet during the 2016 election season.
Sanders suggested Hillary Clinton’s campaign should have done more to notify the public that Russians were attempting to sow division during the 2016 presidential campaign.
In the interview he said that he did not know that Russian bots were “promoting my campaign”. In the midst of all of this,” I was out campaigning very hard for Hillary Clinton”. He also went on to say that he was unaware that Russian bots were apparently promoting his campaign.
Sanders said that one member of his campaign staff did speak with the Clinton campaign in September of 2016 to warn them of “strange things happening” on social media, but suggested that his opponent’s campaign had more information about the nature of the attacks.
“If you and your campaign knew there was Russian meddling and it was trying to sow division, why not take that directly to your supporters?” radio host Jane Lindholm asked.
Sanders responded that the “real question to be asked was why didn’t the Clinton campaign do something?”
The Justice Department last week announced charges against 13 Russian nationals and three other Russian groups for allegedly interfering in the 2016 race. The charges allege that Sanders was one of the candidates that Russians sought to support through their efforts, along with the Green party’s candidate Jill Stein.
The indictments’ main emphasis is on the propaganda efforts of one Russian group that has been singled out in particular:m, which is the Internet Research Agency. That group’s operations — which included social media posts, online ads, and organization of rallies in the US — were, the indictment alleges, often (but not exclusively) aimed at denigrating Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy and supporting Donald Trump’s.
This is only a handful of internet troll accounts that the establishment is trying to push as the reason for Donald Trump being in office, when in reality it was the false hope of voting for an anti-establishment candidate that out him there.
According to GallUp 45% of Americans are registered as independent voters, not aligning with any major political party. So already we have almost a majority of our country that doesn’t believe in either of our current political parties and yet people are trying to push the Russian idea that Donald Trump is a Russian plant. People voted for Donald Trump because Hillary Clinton hid everything they hate, and that wanted a straight shooter and thats what they saw in Donald Trump.
It will be very interesting to see where this red scare is by 2020, to see if it will continue to stamp the opposition to the status quo as Russian bots, when in reality its an independent voice wanting change.