JUST IN: Another Twitter Files Drop: The Russiagate Lies: The Fake Tale of Russian Bots ~ January 13, 2023

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Another “Twitter Files” dropped on Thursday afternoon.

Journalist Matt Taibbi released Part 14: The Russiagate Lies: The Fake Tale of Russian Bots

1.THREAD: Twitter Files #14
THE RUSSIAGATE LIES
One: The Fake Tale of Russian Bots and the #ReleaseTheMemo Hashtag

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

TRENDING: BREAKING: Merrick Garland Appoints Robert Hur as Special Counsel to Investigate Joe Biden’s Handling of Classified Documents

2. At a crucial moment in a years-long furor, Democrats denounced a report about flaws in the Trump-Russia investigation, saying it was boosted by Russian “bots” and “trolls.”

https://t.co/0PUOm212iv a crucial moment in a years-long furor, Democrats denounced a report about flaws in the Trump-Russia investigation, saying it was boosted by Russian “bots” and “trolls.”

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

3. Twitter officials were aghast, finding no evidence of Russian influence:

“We are feeding congressional trolls.”
“Not any…significant activity connected to Russia.”
“Putting the cart before the horse assuming this is propaganda/bots.”

3.Twitter officials were aghast, finding no evidence of Russian influence:

“We are feeding congressional trolls.”
“Not any…significant activity connected to Russia.”
“Putting the cart before the horse assuming this is propaganda/bots.” pic.twitter.com/r8O21QacME

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

4. Twitter warned politicians and media the not only lacked evidence, but had evidence the accounts weren’t Russian – and were roundly ignored.

4.Twitter warned politicians and media the not only lacked evidence, but had evidence the accounts weren’t Russian – and were roundly ignored.

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

5. On January 18th, 2018, Republican Devin Nunes submitted a classified memo to the House Intel Committee detailing abuses by the FBI in obtaining FISA surveillance authority against Trump-connected figures, including the crucial role played by the infamous “Steele Dossier”:

5.On January 18th, 2018, Republican Devin Nunes submitted a classified memo to the House Intel Committee detailing abuses by the FBI in obtaining FISA surveillance authority against Trump-connected figures, including the crucial role played by the infamous “Steele Dossier”: pic.twitter.com/uhl7TXYsBC

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

6. The Nunes assertions would virtually all be verified in a report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz in December 2019.

6.The Nunes assertions would virtually all be verified in a report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz in December 2019. pic.twitter.com/uLFHwbsiJe

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

7. Nonetheless, national media in January and early February of 2018 denounced the Nunes report in oddly identical language, calling it a “joke”:

7.Nonetheless, national media in January and early February of 2018 denounced the Nunes report in oddly identical language, calling it a “joke”: pic.twitter.com/IkTXRGrfaH

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

On January 23rd, 2018, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) published an open letter saying the hashtag “gained the immediate attention and assistance of social media accounts linked to Russian influence operations.”
9.On January 23rd, 2018, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) published an open letter saying the hashtag “gained the immediate attention and assistance of social media accounts linked to Russian influence operations.” pic.twitter.com/kOC3ab6mXS
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

Feinstein/Schiff said the Nunes memo “distorts” classified information, but note they didn’t call it incorrect.

9b. Feinstein/Schiff said the Nunes memo “distorts” classified information, but note they didn’t call it incorrect. pic.twitter.com/3ZMVM6XH9p

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

10. Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal followed suit, publishing a letter saying, “We find it reprehensible that Russian agents have so eagerly manipulated innocent Americans.”

10.Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal followed suit, publishing a letter saying, “We find it reprehensible that Russian agents have so eagerly manipulated innocent Americans.” pic.twitter.com/pwA1MAQ84t

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

9b. Feinstein/Schiff said the Nunes memo “distorts” classified information, but note they didn’t call it incorrect. pic.twitter.com/3ZMVM6XH9p

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

10. Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal followed suit, publishing a letter saying, “We find it reprehensible that Russian agents have so eagerly manipulated innocent Americans.”

10.Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal followed suit, publishing a letter saying, “We find it reprehensible that Russian agents have so eagerly manipulated innocent Americans.” pic.twitter.com/pwA1MAQ84t

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

12. The dashboard, which featured a crude picture of Vladimir Putin deviously blowing evil red Twitter birds into the atmosphere, was vague in how it reached its conclusions.

12.The dashboard, which featured a crude picture of Vladimir Putin deviously blowing evil red Twitter birds into the atmosphere, was vague in how it reached its conclusions. pic.twitter.com/bSrfMfSVi6

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

13. Inside Twitter, executives panned Watts, Hamilton 68, and the Alliance for Securing Democracy. Two key complaints: Hamilton 68 seemed to be everyone’s only source, and no one was checking with Twitter.

3.Inside Twitter, executives panned Watts, Hamilton 68, and the Alliance for Securing Democracy. Two key complaints: Hamilton 68 seemed to be everyone’s only source, and no one was checking with Twitter.

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

14. “I encourage you to be skeptical of Hamilton 68’s take on this, which as far as I can tell is the only source for these stories,” said Global Policy Communications Chief (and future WH and NSC spokesperson) Emily Horne.

She added: “It’s a comms play for ASD.”

14.“I encourage you to be skeptical of Hamilton 68’s take on this, which as far as I can tell is the only source for these stories,” said Global Policy Communications Chief (and future WH and NSC spokesperson) Emily Horne.
She added: “It’s a comms play for ASD.” pic.twitter.com/PZRZC51K7f
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

15. “All the swirl is based on Hamilton,” said Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth.
15.“All the swirl is based on Hamilton,” said Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth. pic.twitter.com/xqJxVM3knb
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

16. “If ASD isn’t going to fact-check with us, we should feel free to correct the record on their work,” said Policy VP Carlos Monje.

16.“If ASD isn’t going to fact-check with us, we should feel free to correct the record on their work,” said Policy VP Carlos Monje. pic.twitter.com/fwGgTYt7SN

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

17. Roth couldn’t find any Russian connection to #ReleaseTheMemo – at all. “I just reviewed the accounts that posted the first 50 tweets with #releasethememo and… none of them show any signs of affiliation to Russia.”

17.Roth couldn’t find any Russian connection to #ReleaseTheMemo – at all. “I just reviewed the accounts that posted the first 50 tweets with #releasethememo and… none of them show any signs of affiliation to Russia.” pic.twitter.com/wJJ3rmI3Ks

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

18. “We investigated, found that engagement as overwhelmingly organic, and driven by VITs” – Very Important Tweeters, including Wikileaks and congressman Steve King.

18.“We investigated, found that engagement as overwhelmingly organic, and driven by VITs” – Very Important Tweeters, including Wikileaks and congressman Steve King. pic.twitter.com/Q7Z9DrPWOR

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

19. A staffer for “DiFi” – Feinstein – agreed it would be “helpful to know” how Hamilton 68 goes by “the process by which they decide an account is Russian.”

But, only AFTER Feinstein published her letter about Russian influence.

9.A staffer for “DiFi” – Feinstein – agreed it would be “helpful to know” how Hamilton 68 goes by “the process by which they decide an account is Russian.”

But, only AFTER Feinstein published her letter about Russian influence. pic.twitter.com/ysPYDuEtOH

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

20. When Twitter spoke to a Blumenthal staffer, they tried to “wave him off” because “we don’t believe these are bots.”

20.When Twitter spoke to a Blumenthal staffer, they tried to “wave him off” because “we don’t believe these are bots.” pic.twitter.com/0VGdFRkkOi

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

21. Added another: “It might be worth nudging Blumenthal’s staffer that it could be in his boss’ best interest not to go out there because it could come back to make him look silly.”

21.Added another: “It might be worth nudging Blumenthal’s staffer that it could be in his boss’ best interest not to go out there because it could come back to make him look silly.” pic.twitter.com/tP6VZF0PPC

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

22. One Twitter exec even tried to negotiate, implying an undisclosed future PR concession if Blumenthal would lay off on this:

“It seems like there are other wins we could offer him.”

https://t.co/W7riHUVMyn Twitter exec even tried to negotiate, implying an undisclosed future PR concession if Blumenthal would lay off on this:

“It seems like there are other wins we could offer him.” pic.twitter.com/Kdf1EebXcV

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

23. Blumenthal published his letter anyway.

23.Blumenthal published his letter anyway.

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

24. Execs eventually grew frustrated over what they saw as a circular process – presented with claims of Russian activity, even when denied, led to more claims.

Advertisement – story continues below

24.Execs eventually grew frustrated over what they saw as a circular process – presented with claims of Russian activity, even when denied, led to more claims.

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

25. They expressed this explicitly to Blumenthal’s camp, saying “Twitter spent a lot of resources” on this request and the reward from Blumenthal shouldn’t be round after round of requests.”

“We can’t do a user notice each time this happens.”

Advertisement – story continues below

25.They expressed this explicitly to Blumenthal’s camp, saying “Twitter spent a lot of resources” on this request and the reward from Blumenthal shouldn’t be round after round of requests.”

“We can’t do a user notice each time this happens.” pic.twitter.com/pcixoeYIyH

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

26. Eventually Twitter staff realize “Blumenthal isn’t looking for real and nuanced solutions” but “just wants to get credit for pushing us further.”

26.Eventually Twitter staff realize “Blumenthal isn’t looking for real and nuanced solutions” but “just wants to get credit for pushing us further.” pic.twitter.com/GbMvgeLH6g

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

27. Ultimately senior executives talked about “feeding congressional trolls” and compared their situation to the children’s book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”

27.Ultimately senior executives talked about “feeding congressional trolls” and compared their situation to the children’s book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” pic.twitter.com/xk6reot1lf

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

Advertisement – story continues below

28. In the story, if you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll want a glass of milk, which will lead to a wave of other exhausting requests, at the end of which he’ll want a glass of milk. And one more cookie.

https://t.co/eOqNK7yE15 the story, if you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll want a glass of milk, which will lead to a wave of other exhausting requests, at the end of which he’ll want a glass of milk. And one more cookie. pic.twitter.com/ySlFfzGt1y

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

29. The metaphor for the endless Russia requests was so perfect, one exec wrote, “I’m legit embarrassed I didn’t think of that first.”

Advertisement – story continues below

29.The metaphor for the endless Russia requests was so perfect, one exec wrote, “I’m legit embarrassed I didn’t think of that first.” pic.twitter.com/MbI6XrnS18

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

30. Despite universal internal conviction that there were no Russians in the story, Twitter went on to follow a slavish pattern of not challenging Russia claims on the record.

30.Despite universal internal conviction that there were no Russians in the story, Twitter went on to follow a slavish pattern of not challenging Russia claims on the record.

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

31. Outside counsel from DC-connected firms like Debevoise and Plimpton advised Twitter to use language like, “With respect to particular hashtags, we take seriously any activity that may represent an abuse of our platform.”

31.Outside counsel from DC-connected firms like Debevoise and Plimpton advised Twitter to use language like, “With respect to particular hashtags, we take seriously any activity that may represent an abuse of our platform.” pic.twitter.com/DW5nO9Syh5

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

Advertisement – story continues below

32. As a result, reporters from the AP to Politico to NBC to Rolling Stone continued to hammer the “Russian bots” theme, despite a total lack of evidence.

https://t.co/OlWGsft3ut a result, reporters from the AP to Politico to NBC to Rolling Stone continued to hammer the “Russian bots” theme, despite a total lack of evidence. pic.twitter.com/4oPFHjJ4Rh

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

33. Russians weren’t just blamed for #ReleaseTheMemo but #SchumerShutdown, #ParklandShooting, even #GunControlNow – to “widen the divide,” according to the New York Times.

Advertisement – story continues below

33.Russians weren’t just blamed for #ReleaseTheMemo but #SchumerShutdown, #ParklandShooting, even #GunControlNow – to “widen the divide,” according to the New York Times. pic.twitter.com/L7qZWwcyON

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

34. Re #SchumerShutdown and #ReleaseTheMemo, the internal guidance was, “Both hashtags appear to be organically trending.”

https://t.co/w6GmX8wQMw #SchumerShutdown and #ReleaseTheMemo, the internal guidance was, “Both hashtags appear to be organically trending.” pic.twitter.com/6z5OMelLtZ

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

35. NBC, Politico, AP, Times, Business Insider, and other media outlets who played up the “Russian bots” story – even Rolling Stone – all declined to comment for this story.

35.NBC, Politico, AP, Times, Business Insider, and other media outlets who played up the “Russian bots” story – even Rolling Stone – all declined to comment for this story.

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

Advertisement – story continues below

36. The staffs of Feinstein, Schiff, and Blumenthal also declined comment.

36.The staffs of Feinstein, Schiff, and Blumenthal also declined comment.

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

37. Who did comment? Devin Nunes. “Schiff and the Democrats falsely claimed Russians were behind the Release the Memo hashtag, all my investigative work… By spreading the Russia collusion hoax, they instigated one of the greatest outbreaks of mass delusion in U.S. history.”

37. Who did comment? Devin Nunes. “Schiff and the Democrats falsely claimed Russians were behind the Release the Memo hashtag, all my investigative work… By spreading the Russia collusion hoax, they instigated one of the greatest outbreaks of mass delusion in U.S. history.”

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

38. This #ReleaseTheMemo episode is just one of many in the #TwitterFiles. The Russiagate scandal was built on the craven dishonesty of politicians and reporters, who for years ignored the absence of data to fictional scare headlines.

38.This #ReleaseTheMemo episode is just one of many in the #TwitterFiles. The Russiagate scandal was built on the craven dishonesty of politicians and reporters, who for years ignored the absence of data to fictional scare headlines.

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) January 12, 2023

Advertisement – story continues below

*END THREAD*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.