A 37-page indictment issued by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team on Friday brings fresh American attention to one of the strangest elements of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election: The Internet Research Agency (IRA), a state-sponsored “troll factory” in St. Petersburg.
But much of the information Mueller published on Friday about the agency’s efforts to influence the election had already been published last October — in an article by a Russian business magazine, RBC.
In a 4,500-word report titled “How the ‘troll factory’ worked the U.S. elections,” journalists Polina Rusyaeva and Andrey Zakharov offered the fullest picture yet of how the “American department” of the IRA used Facebook, Twitter and other tactics to inflame tensions ahead of the 2016 vote. …
Zakharov explained how it was a strange feeling seeing something he had so closely investigated become a major issue in the United States, when it had not been a “bombshell” when he published his report at home.
[Zakharov”] A lot of Russian conservatives were proud. They said: “Look at what Russians can do! Only 90 people with $2 million made America scared! We are strong!” And for conservative people here, they see that Americans have CNN, Radio Free Europe, etc., that cover Russia. They say, “Why can’t we establish groups in America and have our own influence?” That’s how conservative people think here. They think this was normal.
In other words, the Russian story is a beat up, small change exploited by the left as an excuse for the election result. The poor old Mueller investigation is left reporting … old newspaper reports. I think someone owes Trump an apology on this one.