By AFP Staff
Last week, the mainstream media was all over reports that U.S. intelligence agencies were once again warning Congress that Russia was out to meddle in our elections and help President Donald Trump get re-elected. This time, though, they added that the Russians were also helping Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders win the Democratic primary. A few days later, at least one media outlet—CNN of all places—quietly rolled back the claim, reporting that one agent in question, who testified in the classified hearing, “appears to have overstated the intelligence community’s formal assessment of Russian interference in the 2020 election.”
It’s like the media have learned nothing from their humiliation last year when special prosecutor Robert Mueller told the country there is zero evidence Trump or anyone else in his presidential campaign colluded with Russia to steal the election in 2016 from Hillary Clinton.
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It all started last week, when the big media, desperate to reclaim a tiny shard of their lost dignity, detailed a claim made by Deep State agents that, once again, according to CNN, “Russia does favor Trump, but that helping Trump wasn’t the only thing they were trying to do as it was also designed to raise questions about the integrity of the elections process.”
Even Fox News bought into this silly tale, reporting on the U.S. officials who reportedly briefed Congress. Of course, the hearing was classified, so no one outside of it actually knows what was said in detail. That didn’t stop big media outlets from leading with the leaked information that was originally provided to The New York Times by an anonymous source.
One of the individuals who was repeatedly cited in media reports was Shelby Pierson, the top election security official of the American intelligence community. CNN was eventually forced to roll back some of what she said, reporting that other intelligence officials noted Pierson had overstated the intelligence community’s beliefs about Russia and U.S. elections.
“Pierson’s characterization of Russian interference led to pointed questions from lawmakers, which officials said caused Pierson to overstep and assert that Russia has a preference for Trump to be reelected,” conceded CNN. “One intelligence official said that Pierson’s characterization of the intelligence was ‘misleading’ and a national security official said Pierson failed to provide the ‘nuance’ needed to accurately convey the US intelligence conclusions.”
Thankfully, there are still objective and sane journalists out there, some of whom are even on the left. They are definitely in the minority, but they do exist. The Nation’s Aaron Mate is just one of those, who never succumbed to Trump derangement syndrome. No one can accuse Mate of being a Trump supporter, still he has gone to great lengths to debunk even Mueller’s claim that Russian troll farms had any effect on the 2016 election. You can read more from him about this here and here.
As Mate writes, it seems the posts made by Russian social media companies were more about making money than influencing politics. Moreover, the sheer volume of daily posts to Facebook and Twitter, which amount to billions of photos and writings posted every day, means the tens of thousands that were posted by Russian troll farms over the course of a decade were quickly lost in a sea of tweets and Facebook posts.
Avowed socialist Sanders has also come under attack from the Deep State, who are threatened by his calls to massively cut the military budget and end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—huge moneymakers for the military-industrial-banking complex.
In a rare rebuke, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, before taking a swipe at Sanders, issued a statement to the press, saying, “Well, there’s no briefing that I’ve received, that the president has received, that says that President Putin is doing anything to try and influence the elections in favor of President Trump. We just haven’t seen that intelligence. If it’s out there, I haven’t seen it. I’d be surprised if I haven’t seen it.”