National Security

Senate Intel Chairman: Russia Hired 1,000 Trolls and Hackers to Influence the Election

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

We've always known Russia hires paid internet trolls and hackers to influence events around the world including the 2016 election, but their operation could have been even bigger than we suspected.

Comments made by Senate Intelligence Committee Vice-Chairman Mark Warner suggest he's seen specific intelligence identifying a troll operation.

“Most of this influence came online,” and “without setting foot” in the U.S., Watts said. When it comes to open-source threats, “we miss what’s right in front of our nose,” he said.

Warner told reporters Wednesday there were “upwards of 1,000 paid internet trolls working out of a facility in Russia, in effect, taking over series of computers, which is then called a botnet.”

That's a very specific claim that one normally wouldn't make unless you've seen intelligence reports on the facility. And this wasn't just a massive trolling operation according to Warner, they also hired hackers who infected computers with bots.

These trolls and hackers disseminated fake news reports about Hillary Clinton and compromised the computers of both Democrats and Republicans while choosing to only release information and gossip damaging to Democrats.

  • Badgerite

    If there is one thing Putin knows how to do , it is smother a democracy. He’s had a lot of practice at it. I would not take the threat as lightly as the GOP seems to be doing.

    • Agree, is a very dangerous man playing a very dangerous game. By destabilizing us, he could potentially destabilize the whole world.

  • muselet

    I wonder why Russia would want the Americans to elect a vacuous blowhard as president. Hmmm.

    It is a puzzlement.

    –alopecia

  • Nefercat
    • muselet

      They’re both horrific.

      –alopecia

  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    That’s a very specific claim that one normally wouldn’t make unless you’ve seen intelligence reports

    So is “just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

    But then again, one of these sources is far more full-of-shit than the other…

  • Georgie