In trying to make heads or tails of the recent Mueller indictments, we read the Washington Post's interview with a Russian journalist by the name of Andrey Zakharov. Zakharov, along with his colleague Polina Rusyaeva, has been following the Internet Research Agency (IRA) for years, or as they call it, the "Troll Factory". The New York Times did some reporting on the group in 2015, but according to Zakharov, basically recycled Russian reporting on the Troll Factory.
Zakharov was asked about his opinion of the IRA, which he shared with the Post: "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?' " This was a small scale propaganda operation, with little significance to the election of President Trump.
A glance at the translated Russian sources shows that the IRA wasn't just posting pro-Trump material; they claimed that their content "correlated" with Trump, but wasn't supportive. The Russian sources show all sorts of right-wing and left-wing groups, all of which were meant to stir the pot, not get Trump elected. Moreover, the interview shows that liberals in America freaked out and blacklisted all sorts of people on social media over a low-budget troll operation, and Mueller is grasping at straws to show some sort of Russian influence in the 2016 election.
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