The Russians didn’t do anything to us that we weren’t already doing to ourselves
Robert Mueller released an indictment of 13 Russians for crimes related to their social-media campaign to meddle in our internal affairs in the run-up to and aftermath of the 2016 election.
Mueller obviously isn’t a McCarthyite, and can’t be held responsible for the hysteria — and hopeful expectations of an impeachment-level event — that has built up around his work. His indictment is, as far as anyone can tell, rigorously factual.
That’s probably the point of it — to create a record of an episode that we should want to know as much about as possible and prevent from ever happening again.
The Russia campaign was a shockingly cynical violation of our sovereignty. President Trump would do himself and the country a favor by frankly denouncing it.
But the scale of the operation shouldn’t be exaggerated. In the context of a hugely expensive, obsessively covered, impossibly dramatic presidential election, the Russian contribution on social media was piddling and often laughable.
The Russians wanted to boost Trump, but as a Facebook executive noted, most of their spending on Facebook ads came after the election. The larger goal was to sow discord, yet we had already primed ourselves for plenty of that.
Does anyone believe, absent Russian trolls on Twitter and Facebook, that we were headed to a placid election season involving an incendiary, mediagenic former reality TV star bent on blowing up the political establishment and a longtime pol who had stoked the enmity of Republicans for 30 years and was under FBI investigation?
If you read the Mueller indictment, you might think the Russians were everywhere, not only advertising on Facebook (“Trump is our only hope for a better future”; “Ohio Wants Hillary 4 Prison”), but organizing rallies around the country.
FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR