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Mueller report reveals Russian efforts to target US coal jobs

Mueller report reveals Russian efforts to target US coal jobs
© Greg Nash

Russian social media accounts focused on U.S. division over coal jobs as part of an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election, according to the newly released report from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE.

The report cites a series of pro-Trump rallies organized by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian organization charged with interfering in the U.S. election, included one in Pennsylvania with a poster featuring a coal miner reading “bring back our jobs.”

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“How many PA workers lost their jobs due to Obama’s disruptive policies?” the poster read. “Help Mr. Trump fix it.”

The rallies were hosted in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in October 2016.

Several portions of Mueller's report that reference the rallies are redacted, citing “harm to ongoing matter” if the information were publicly released.

Coal was not the only energy topic targeted in an attempt to sway voters toward President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE.

A report in March 2018 by the House Science, Space and Technology Committee concluded that about 4 percent of IRA tweets and posts were about energy and environment issues in an attempt to disrupt U.S. energy markets.

Those posts focused on pipelines, fossil fuels, fracking and climate change.

Looking at information provided to them by U.S. social media companies, the committee determined that between 2015 and 2017 there were about 9,097 Russian posts or tweets about U.S. energy policy and events on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.