Republican Senator Suggests Russian Trolls Purposely Agitated the NFL Debate

Buffalo Bills players take a knee during the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

The goal is to sow chaos and split the nation.

And they seem to be doing a fine job of it.

Remember what I said about those egg people and the Russian bots on social media?


The assertion of one Republican senator is that they’re at it again, working up the U.S. public, forcing sides in the debate over the NFL and kneeling.

Reuters reports:

The assertion, made by Republican James Lankford, comes as congressional investigators probing Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election are focusing on how Russian agents used social media to spread divisive political content.

”We watched, even this weekend, the Russians and their troll farms, their internet folks, start hashtagging out #TakeAKnee and also hashtagging out #BoycottNFL,” Lankford, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said during a hearing on threats faced by the United States.

“They were taking both sides of the argument this weekend … to try to raise the noise level of America and make a big issue seem like an even bigger issue as they are trying to push divisiveness in this country,” Lankford said.

This isn’t a new issue. It went on during the 2016 election season, with the egg people wildly promoting pro-Trump propaganda, flooding social media, and working overtime to spread hoaxes on sites like Facebook and Twitter.


A website built by researchers working with the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan, transatlantic project to counter Russian disinformation, showed tweets promoting both sides of the football debate from 600 accounts that analysts identified as users who spread Russian propaganda on Twitter.

A Senate aide said the website was viewed as credible among congressional investigators.

President Trump didn’t really do much to calm the maelstrom, after saying players who kneel during the anthem should be fired.

It set off a debate about what is allowable freedom of expression and if there should be consequences.

We don’t need Russians to try and keep us in turmoil. We do a great job, all on our own.


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