What can’t those dastardly Russian bots do? Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris has blamed the media commotion surrounding former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem on the Kremlin’s minions.
In a radio interview with New York-based ‘The Breakfast Club,’ Harris outlined her (completely original and not at all parroted by the media for the last two years) theory that every social fault line and division in America has a “Russian Bot” behind it.
“They test out a couple of things to see what can get the American public going at each other, pointing fingers at each other,” Harris said. “Guess what gains the most heat? Race.”
“Remember the heat that ended up around the ‘bend the knee’ and Colin Kaepernick?” Harris asked, referring to the NFL star’s refusal to stand for the national anthem in 2016. “Many smart people have said it actually was not a thing…the Russian bots started taking that on.”
Harris didn’t reveal who the “many smart people” she cited were, but did say that she feels “targeted” by the shadowy Russian bots.
Nor did she mention the homegrown hoopla over Kaepernick’s protest. Within the borders of the USA, the American media needed no Kremlin help to saturate the news cycle with the Kaepernick controversy. CNN has to date published 664 stories referencing the kneeling quarterback, while the New York Times has mentioned him in 1,190 articles. On the other side of the ideological spectrum, Fox News has name-dropped Kaepernick in a whopping 1,350 stories, mostly featuring highlights of its big-name pundits trashing him for his America-hating, Communist, Satanist ways.
However, facts don’t seem to matter to hardened ‘Russiagaters.’ Harris’ words suggest a sinister Russian ploy to systematically exploit division and sow discord. Instead, this trolling was mostly limited in 2016 to scattergun tweets and gifs disseminated over social media, with little clarity over whether they actually came from Russia in the first place.
Even the most sinister Russian ‘troll farm’ of them all –the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency (IRA)– was revealed last week by a federal judge to be unconnected to the Russian government, rendering Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of IRA personnel meaningless.
Harris’ anti-Russia invective came just days before former Obama administration staffer Ben Rhodes blamed “Russian trolls” for the infighting currently rocking the Democratic party. “Have no doubt that Russian trolls will work to exploit the divisions opening up in the Democratic coalition,” Rhodes tweeted on Sunday. “Let’s debate and respect our differences without losing sight of our common objectives”
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