How should we think about Russian disinformation?

Last month, the Senate Intelligence Committee published a damning bipartisan report on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Since then, we’ve heard more about what Russia may be up to in 2020. A week ago, Brian Murphy, a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security, filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that his bosses told him to suppress reports concerning ongoing Russian interference, because they risked making Trump “look bad.” (This was a big story, and would likely have been even bigger if it hadn’t landed at the same time as Bob Woodward’s book.) On Thursday, the Treasury Department slapped sanctions on Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian politician with ties to Trumpworld, and tagged him as a Russian agent who’s been working to undermine the election; the same day, Microsoft warned that Russian military intelligence is once again trying to hack campaign aides. Peter Strzok, an FBI staffer turned Trump punching bag, and Alexander Vindman, a former administration aide who testified during Trump’s impeachment, both gave rare interviews to The Atlantic, during which they characterized Trump as a useful idiot for Vladimir Putin. In sum, Russia is back and “wilier than ever,” Politico’s Mark Scott wrote yesterday—and experts fear that the chaos has only just begun. Last week, with such warnings starting to swirl around the news cycle, Joshua Yaffa, Moscow correspondent at the New Yorker, took a step back, asking—in a thought-provoking essay drawing on the... Continue reading at 'Columbia Journalism Review'

[ Columbia Journalism Review | 2020-09-15 12:30:41 UTC ]
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The Russians manipulated our elections. We helped.

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