House

Schiff: Almost all RT ads on Twitter designed to push negative coverage of Clinton

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that advertisements on Twitter from the Russian state-owned news outlet RT were "almost entirely" aimed toward driving negative coverage of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during the presidential race.

"I also strongly believe that the RT ads on Twitter should be made public; a review of a representative sample reveals that they are almost entirely designed to push Russian news coverage adverse to Secretary Clinton's campaign," said Schiff in a statement.

"Moreover, there is far more forensic work to be done by the technology companies to reveal the full extent of Russian use of social media, a subject we will be probing with them during our upcoming open hearing."

His statement came the same day Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stopped short of endorsing a January intelligence assessment that claimed Moscow intervened on behalf of Trump during the presidential election.

Burr, speaking during a press conference, noted that the committee had not reached a conclusion on Russia's preferences during the presidential campaign.

"If we use solely the social media advertising that we have seen, there's no way you can look at that and say that was to help the right side of the ideological chart and not the left, or vice versa. They were indiscriminate," Burr said.

Twitter said last week that it shared advertisements from 2016 aimed toward the U.S. market from three RT accounts with staff members on both the House and Senate Intelligence committees.

"As of our meetings today we believe this is the complete list from these three accounts within that time frame, but we are continuing to review our internal data and will report back to the committees as we have more to share," Twitter PublicPolicy said in a post.

Schiff said he is in full agreement with the assessments from the Senate Intelligence Committee about Russia's election meddling, as outlined during the press conference.

"On the issue of collusion, the work of our committee ... continues," he said.

But Schiff added that Russia's attempts to interfere in U.S. elections "is not over" and said all Facebook ads that were Russian-bought should be publicly available to every American.

"Among the most pernicious features of Russian interference was the cynical and calculated use of social media to divide Americans and exploit our internal divisions," Schiff said in his statement.

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