News that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone today, but yes, the Russians were helping Green Party 2016 candidate Dr. Jill Stein in order to help Donald Trump, and it worked.
Two days before the 2016 presidential election, an Instagram account called @woke_blacks posted a message in support of long-shot Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
“The excuse that a lost Black vote for Hillary is a Trump win is bs,” it read. “It could be late, but y’all might want to support Jill Stein instead.”
According to a report commissioned by the Senate, the account was a fake, part of the Russian campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.
The report was one of two that leaked this week saying the Russian effort to disrupt the election specifically targeted black voters and harnessed America’s top social media platforms. But the reports contained another finding that was largely overlooked — the Russians also focused on boosting Stein’s candidacy through social media posts like the one from @woke_blacks.
Building support for Stein was one of a “roster of themes” the Moscow-sanctioned internet trolls “turned to repeatedly” in their effort to disrupt the election, according to a research team led by the New Knowledge cybersecurity firm. The researchers also found that the campaign to bolster Stein gained in intensity in the final days of the presidential campaign and largely targeted African-American voters.
The reports, prepared by separate groups of cyber experts, add to the growing body of evidence that the Russians worked to boost the Stein campaign as part of the effort to siphon support away from Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and tilt the election to Trump.
An NBC News analysis found that Russians working under the direction of the Internet Research Agency, the St. Petersburg-based firm run by a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, tweeted the phrase “Jill Stein” over 1,000 times around the time of the election.
The posts were often accompanied by variations of the same hashtag, “Grow a spine and vote Jill Stein.”
“This hasn’t gotten enough attention,” said Andrew Weiss, a Russian expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, referring to Moscow’s efforts to promote Stein.
“The fact that the Russian propaganda apparatus helped create awareness and support for her candidacy and promoted her candidacy is critical to our understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“The Russians played this extremely adroitly,” Weiss added.
Never forget that Jill Stein's vote totals in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were higher than the difference that Trump won by in those states. Those votes made Trump the winner in the Electoral College. The Russians knew just where to hit and when in order to maximize this advantage to help Trump, and it gave him the Oval Office.
And yes, the Russians were behind it. Period. They helped Trump steal the election.
Let's not forget this.