News Brief

New Details of Russia’s US Election’Interference’ Released

Democratic Party lawmakers have released thousands of ads placed on Twitter by the RT network during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, according to the Bloomberg news site, as part of efforts to show how the Kremlin-backed media group tried to create divisions among American voters.

It’s the latest move in an ongoing battle between Democrats and Republicans over revealing the extent of Russian influence during the elections, with President Donald Trump continuing to attack allegations of Kremlin interference as a “hoax.”

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee also released details of Twitter accounts identified as being linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency, which has been identified as one of the engine rooms of Kremlin-backed online influence operations.

The social media platform banned RT from advertising on its service after U.S. investigators concluded it had tried to interfere in the campaign.

In a statement, Representative Adam Schiff of California, the Intelligence Committee’s ranking Democrat said: “By releasing this Twitter data, we hope that researchers will continue their important work exposing any additional Russian operators who used similar tactics and themes, and provide the American people with additional information to protect our elections and political debate in the future.”

As well as attempting to sway voter opinion, RT issued a series of tweets claiming that the mainstream media were untrustworthy, with one tweet encouraging users to download its own news app instead.

Twitter welcomed the release of the ads and account details, saying in a statement that it was “glad that these materials we have shared with Congress are now available for the general public to see and study.”

The data released by the House Intelligence Committee also revealed that 3,841 Twitter accounts had connections to the Internet Research Agency, while more than 36,000 Russia-linked bot accounts tweeted about the U.S elections.