Charles Knowles / Flickr Gun Smoke Red...
Charles Knowles / Flickr

The retreat to the #TrumpRussia bunker continues and the mashed potatoes are not yet ready. The money path or all those emails in Mueller’s possession could confirm the interoperability between the Trump campaign and the various Russian troll operations. More interesting could be the synchrony of ad buys and swing state targeting in 2016. But as always, in Biglygate, it’s more likely to be a smoldering arsenal than a smoking gun.

Mueller’s team is trying to determine if members of the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee, who worked together on the digital arm of Trump’s campaign, provided assistance to Russian trolls attempting to influence voters. It’s the latest scare for Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who managed the digital campaign and has already come under scrutiny by the special counsel for his foreign contacts.

Mueller’s move appears to concern the disproportionate targeting of swing districts by Russian trolls during the presidential campaign. CNN reported in October that ads placed by Russia-linked Facebook accounts targeted Michigan and Wisconsin in particular, with many “geared at swaying public opinion in the most heavily contested battlegrounds.”

Experts don’t think the trolls behind Russian Facebook accounts could have determined who to target on their own, but the question is whether the help they got came from Trump’s orbit. The leading suspects at this point are Kushner and Brad Parscale, the campaign’s digital media director.

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Agent Orange and Brad Parscale

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(2016) Trump’s Digital Team Orchestrating “Three Major Voter Suppression Operations”

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In a new in-depth report from Bloomberg, reporters Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg provide new details about Donald Trump’s online operation, known as Project Alamo, including its efforts to lower turnout among Hillary Clinton supporters. The team’s name (its office is in San Antonio) may seem ominously appropriate given the overwhelming odds arrayed against Trump’s campaign. But win or lose, Trump’s databases and online outreach will have impacts long past election day.

….According to a senior official speaking to Bloomberg, the project’s initial stages also involved help from “some Silicon Valley people who are kind of covert Trump fans and experts in digital marketing.”

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