The #ReleaseTheMemo memo turns out to be nothing but four-pages of puffery trying to turn the possibility that the FBI used some information from Christopher Steele when renewing Carter Page’s FISA warrant into something of significance. That memo will apparently be released next week as Republicans move their propaganda campaign from the “Someone is suppressing this memo!” stage to the “Here is that memo we fought to release!” stage. What won’t be released is any of the information needed to put the memo in context or point out it’s lies and distortions. That’s Republican transparency.
But in the meantime, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Adam Schiff would like Facebook and Twitter to look into how Russian ‘bots just happened to jump into the Republican #RelaseTheMemo campaign, firing off thousands of messages just as the Republicans, including noted Russian-effort coordinator Donald Trump Jr, put out their own messages on the topic.
Public accounts report that accounts linked to the Russian government are again exploiting the Twitter and Facebook platforms in an effort to manipulate public opinion. These recent Russian efforts are intended to influence congressional action and undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which has already resulted in the indictment of two Trump campaign officials and guilty pleas from two others, who are both now cooperating with prosecutors. …
Noting that the memo contains a selectively edited and distorted version of classified information, Feinstein and Schiff note that the Republicans hurried to spread this slanted document around and supported their effort with the #ReleaseTheMemo campaign to inflate the value of their supposed information. But soon after the campaign began, allies appeared.
If these accounts are accurate, we are witnessing an ongoing attack by the Russian government. through Kremlin-linked social media cators directly acting to intervene and influence our democratic process.
Don’t expect the Republicans to come up with a hashtag about this one.
It’s clear that there’s nothing important about the actual content of the memo. But the way that Republicans are spreading the memo is important.
Republicans worked with conservative news sources for weeks to discredit the work of former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.
Republicans put an equal effort into generating the meme that if the FBI used Steele’s information in generating a warrant, it somehow mean that the FBI was biased against Trump and/or working for Clinton.
Republicans then created a “secret memo” supposedly containing revelations matching exactly what they had predicted — that the FBI had based warrants on Steele’s material.
Republicans then launched a social media campaign, with the assistance of Russian ‘bots, to play up the importance of this memo. Thousands of Russia-controlled sources pitched in to increase the visibility and apparent importance of their play.
That final step looked like it was every bit as well integrated into the plan, and coordinated with other Republican efforts. How did this “coincidence” occur?