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Letters to the Editor

Mueller Report uncovered some devious details

One of the ways that the Russian government attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election was by organizing political rallies throughout the United States in favor of Donald Trump in the months preceding the election.

The technique, as described in the Mueller Report, was devious but clever. Using their social media contacts, the Russian Internet Research Agency would message a large number of people in a geographic area who had indicated support for Trump or who held political views similar to those espoused by the Trump campaign. The selected Americans would then be invited to come to an event under the pretext that the rally was organized by a local political group. The fictitious political group often had a name that appealed to a particular demographic group such as Miners for Trump, or Confederates.

When a sufficient number of people agreed to attend, the Russian agency sought out an American events coordinator under the pretext that the original coordinator would be unable to attend. Of course, the original coordinator was Russian. The Russian agency then contacted American media sources and invited them to the rallies. Sometimes the Trump campaign even participated in promoting these events. After the event, videos and photographs were disseminated by the Russian agency to social media accounts. Of course, when a rally was held, the local media often covered the event, unaware that they, too, were being played by a Russian agency.

The Russian government systematically attempted to influence American voters in the 2016 election and they continue to do so. Were it not for the Mueller Report, most of us would be unaware of the breadth of the Russian effort to sway the votes of U.S. citizens.

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