Ever since it was first reported that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, members of the administration and their supporters have ardently suggested that even if Russia did hack into the DNC and spread disinformation, no votes were changed as a result, so it had no influence on the final result of the election.
But we now have a new report from New York magazine which suggests that Russian efforts on behalf of and in coordination with the Trump campaign may have directly influenced voters in at least two swing states, Michigan and Wisconsin. According to the report:
“Mueller’s team is trying to determine if members of the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee, who worked together on the digital arm of Trump’s campaign, provided assistance to Russian trolls attempting to influence voters. It’s the latest scare for Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who managed the digital campaign and has already come under scrutiny by the special counsel for his foreign contacts.
Mueller’s move appears to concern the disproportionate targeting of swing districts by Russian trolls during the presidential campaign. CNN reported in October that ads placed by Russia-linked Facebook accounts targeted Michigan and Wisconsin in particular, with many ‘geared at swaying public opinion in the most heavily contested battlegrounds.’”
More troubling for the White House is the fact that experts on social media don’t believe Russian hackers could have possibly known what voters in key districts to target with their trolling efforts and must have had assistance from members of the Trump campaign:
“The leading suspects at this point are Kushner and Brad Parscale, the head of Cambridge Analytica, a data-mining firm that worked closely with the campaign.”
If indeed members of the Trump team did assist Russian hackers or other operatives working on behalf of the Kremlin, it would prove that there was a conspiracy against the United States to assure that Trump won the election. And that, in turn, would prove that the 2016 race was stolen.