All the ways RT ‘influenced’ American politics ‒ it’s not what the ODNI thinks
Editorial published on RT.com, Jan 7, 2017
The U.S. intelligence community has released the unclassified findings of its investigation into what it says was Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and RT apparently takes a significant chunk of the blame. Or does it?
We’ve gone through the 25-page report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), nearly half of which discusses RT’s effects on the 2016 presidential election “by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences.”
RT began “openly supporting President-elect Trump’s candidacy” during the primaries, according to the ODNI. Meanwhile, RT’s coverage sought to “denigrate” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and “harm her electability and potential presidency.”
There’s a lot of rehashing of old allegations, but the document doesn’t seem to include much in the way of specifics about our coverage…
Read the full editorial commentary, with extensive references, at the weblink above.
American spies would prefer if RT didn’t report the news, thank you very much, editorial commentary on RT.com, Jan 6, 2017
Russians ridicule U.S. charge that Kremlin meddled to help Trump, by Andrew Higgins, New York Times, Jan 7, 2017
But the absence of any concrete evidence in the report of meddling by the Kremlin was met with a storm of mockery on Saturday by Russian politicians and commentators, who took to social media to ridicule the report as a potpourri of baseless conjecture.
In a message posted on Twitter, Alexey Pushkov, a member of the defense and security committee of the upper house of the Russian Parliament, ridiculed the American report as akin to C.I.A. assertions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction: “Mountain gave birth to a mouse: all accusations against Russia are based on ‘confidence’ and assumptions. US was sure about Hussein possessing WMD in the same way.”
Margarita Simonyan, the editor in chief of RT, a state-funded television network that broadcasts in English, who is cited repeatedly in the report, posted her own message on Twitter scoffing at the American intelligence community’s accusations. “Aaa, the CIA report is out! Laughter of the year! Intro to my show from 6 years ago is the main evidence of Russia’s influence at US elections. This is not a joke!” she wrote.
Even Russians who have been critical of their government voiced dismay at the United States intelligence agencies’ account of an elaborate Russian conspiracy unsupported by solid evidence. Alexey Kovalev, a Russian journalist who has followed and frequently criticized RT, said he was aghast that the report had given so much attention to the television station. “I do have a beef with RT and their chief,” Mr. Kovalev wrote on Twitter, “But they are not your nemesis, America. Please chill.” …
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