Administration

Trump: CNN, MSNBC ‘got scammed’ into covering Russian-organized rally

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President Trump went after CNN and MSNBC on Tuesday night, saying they “got scammed” into covering an anti-Trump rally that turned out to be organized by Russian groups.

“Bad ratings @CNN & @MSNBC got scammed when they covered the anti-Trump Russia rally wall-to-wall. They probably knew it was Fake News but, because it was a rally against me, they pushed it hard anyway. Two really dishonest newscasters, but the public is wise!” Trump tweeted.

An indictment filed by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, detailed how Russians allegedly used social media not only to spread divisive messages leading up to the election but also to promote rallies they themselves staged.

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Mueller’s team charges that Russian-controlled groups organized rallies both in support and opposition to Trump in the days following the election, including helping organize anti-Trump rallies in New York and North Carolina in mid-November 2016.

The indictment states that “Defendants and their co-conspirators used false U.S. personas to organize and coordinate U.S. political rallies in support of then president-elect Trump, while simultaneously using other false U.S. personas to organize and coordinate U.S. political rallies protesting the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

Thousands of Americans said on Facebook that they planned to attend one Trump protest Nov. 12, 2016, in New York City that was organized by a Facebook page for a Russian-linked group.

That march appeared to be the largest known effort to influence American politics to date by the Russians, attracting as many as 5,000 to 10,000 protesters, according to reports at the time.

Facebook has told Congress that the Russians promoted about 130 rallies through 13 Russian-linked pages, reaching 126 million Americans. 

Mueller’s indictment accuses 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups of attempting to interfere in the election in an effort to support Trump and hurt his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Mueller indictments Robert Mueller Special Counsel investigation Trump tweets

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