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Tag: Twitter

Trump Blasts Own AG Sessions over Failure to Probe Obama’s Role in Russian Meddling

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump once again blasted his own attorney general in a tweet Wednesday, blaming Jeff Sessions for failing to investigate the Obama administration’s role in Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“Question: If all of the Russian meddling took place during the Obama Administration, right up to January 20th, why aren’t they the subject of the investigation? Why didn’t Obama do something about the meddling? Why aren’t Dem crimes under investigation? Ask Jeff Session!,” the president urged his 48 million followers, originally misspelling his AG’s name.

The tweet was just the latest attack on the social media platform blaming everyone but the Russians for election interference, which led to the indictment last week of 13 Russians accused of waging a disinformation campaign to help Trump get elected.

Trump also berated Sessions over four days on Twitter, calling his AG “beleaguered” and claiming Sessions was “very weak” on “Hillary Clinton’s crimes.”

Trump has attacked Sessions since he recused himself from the Russia investigation, allowing the deputy attorney general to appoint a special counsel to probe election interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Trump Supporters Fumed over Twitter’s Purge of Suspected Bots

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Conservative Twitter users are fuming Wednesday after the social media company purged suspected malicious bots – the same automated accounts Russian agents are accused of using to wage an unprecedented propaganda campaign to help Donald Trump win the election.

The purge comes amid mounting pressure from lawmakers calling on social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, to eliminate fake accounts that peddle fake news.

Far-right Twitter users vented, under the trending hashtag, #TwitttertLockOut, that they lost hundreds and even thousands of followers and accused the social media giant of waging a leftist purge to silence conservatives and Trump supporters. 

“The Words of Day Are ‘Twitter Purge’ On Tuesday Night, Most of Us Lost Thousand of Followers. As #Deplorables & #Trump Supporters, ‘We Must Help Each Other,’” a Trump supporter tweeted. “Lets Follow & Follow Back Everyday. The #Trump Agenda Must Be Pushed Forward.#TwitterLockOut.”

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Twitter responded that its “tools are apolitical” and that it periodically culls accounts suspected of being fake.

“As part of our ongoing work in safety, we identify suspicious account behaviors that indicate automated activity or violations of our policies around having multiple accounts, or abuse,” Twitter’s statement said. “We also take action on any accounts we find that violate our terms of service, including asking account owners to confirm a phone number so we can confirm a human is behind it. That’s why some people may be experiencing suspensions or locks.”

Twitter didn’t indicate how many suspicious users were removed. 

Thirteen Russians were charged last week on charges of using bots and social media advertising as part of an unprecedented propaganda campaign to help Trump get elected. Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to spread disinformation.

Trump’s Tweetstorm about Russian Probe Draws Heavy Criticism from Democrats, GOP

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s weekend tweetstorm in which he slammed the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election caught heavy criticism from prominent Democrats and Republicans and former nation who are concerned about the president’s unwillingness to hold Russia accountable.

The tweets, many of which were misleading and false, attacked the FBI, Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, congressional Democrats, the media and his own national security adviser. The president also suggested the Russian investigation distracted the FBI from tips about the Florida shooter, a claim that incensed friends and family members of the victims.

Rep. Adam Schiff, whom Trump called “the leakin’ monster of no control,” took aim at Trump’s assertion that the indictments vindicated him because there was no mention of collusion.

“This is a president who claims vindication anytime someone sneezes,”  the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “What this indictment sets out is information about only one element of the Russian active measures campaign — that involving their use of social media to influence attitudes, to motivate people to protest, to essentially infiltrate our political system through the cyber sphere.”

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, also speaking to CNN, criticized Trump for failing to condemn Russia.

“What are we going to do about the threat posed by Russia? He never talks about that,” Clapper said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, echoed those sentiments, saying Trump’s opposition to the Russian investigation is “one of the weirdest things in modern American history.”

“That we don’t have a president speaking out on this issue is a horror show,” Sanders said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “We got to bring Democrats and Republicans together — despite the president — to go forward and protect the integrity of American democracy.”

Also on “Meet the Press,” Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., expressed concerns about Trump’s dismissive remarks about Russian interference.

“Russia has clearly tried to advance their agenda into the United States,” Lankford said. “The president has been very adamant to say that he didn’t collude. He’s very frustrated that people seem to accuse the fact that the only reason he’s president is because of some sort of Russian collusion. But I would say the clear message here is Russia did mean to interfere in our election.”

Trump Slams Leading Memo Critic Ahead of Push to Release Democrats’ Rebuttal

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump woke up this morning ready for war.

Two days after he claimed a much-disputed memo “totally vindicates” him in the special counsel investigation, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee plan to fight tonight for the release of their rebuttal memo, which strongly disputes the Republican-drafted document. 

At stake is a Trump-driven narrative, fueled by the memo’s release last week, that claims the FBI and Justice Department are bent on destroying the president and therefore cannot be trusted to oversee Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the president obstructed justice or his campaign colluded with Russia to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

The argument stems from the committee’s GOP-drafted memo, which Republicans released last week over the strong objections of the FBI and DOJ. The narrative is vital to shed doubt on the integrity of the special counsel probe, which is picking up steam and has reached the doors of the White House.

Some committee Republicans, including Chairman Devin Nunes, R-California, have expressed a willingness to release the rebuttal once it’s properly vetted.

On Twitter this morning, Trump launched a preemptive strike at Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, the committee’s most vocal critic of the Republican memo, which suggests the FBI and DOJ abused their authority to spy on former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, who was suspected of being a Russian agent.

“Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper!” Trump tweeted. “Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!”

The president didn’t elaborate.

Even if the committee approves the release of the rebuttal, Trump would have five days to review the document and decide whether it should be declassified and released.

If the president objects, the committee has the option of sending the memo to the full House for another vote.

Russian Trolls Make Resurgence on Social Media to Interfere with Special Counsel Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Russian-linked social media accounts that spread immeasurable propaganda during the 2016 presidential election are making a comeback in an escalating campaign to influence the investigations of possible ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin.

Two top Democrats sent a letter to Twitter and Facebook earlier this month, warning that Russian-linked accounts are cropping up in alarming numbers to spread information intended to undermine investigations by congressional committees and  special counsel Robert Mueller.

“It is critically important that the Special Counsel’s investigation be allowed to proceed without interference from inside or outside the United States,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Adam Schiff, both of California, in the letter, according to CNBC.

Each serves on a committee investigation Russian interference during the election.

Thousands of automated accounts, called bots, have cropped up lately in response to the widening investigations that have reached the White House.

Many of them have joined a viral hashtag campaign – #ReleaseTheMemo – to press for the public disclosure of a Republican memorandum that claims the FBI and Justice Department are tainted by political biases. On Monday, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted to publicly release the secret, much-disputed memo that alleges the agencies abused their authority by extending surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser and suspected Russian agent Carter Page.

The vote, along party lines, ignored Justice Department warnings that the release would be “extraordinarily reckless” because the memo draws from classified information. 

The lawmakers expressed concern that the reemergence of Russian bots “are intended to influence congressional action and undermine Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation,” of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Russian-linked trolls also are spreading content from Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has relentlessly blasted the intelligence agencies for alleged anti-Trump biases, Mother Jones reported, basing the information on data compiled by the nonpartisan Alliance for Security Democracy. 

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded last year that Russia launched an aggressive, sophisticated smear campaign designed to disseminate disinformation on social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Google. The propaganda targeted controversial subjects such as police brutality, Black Lives Matter, immigration and Muslims.

Wired reported earlier this month that Mueller’s team interviewed at least one member of Facebook’s team connected Trump’s campaign as part of the investigation into Russian interference.

During a series of congressional hearings last year, Twitter, Facebook and Google were criticized by lawmakers for failing to take steps to eliminate the Russian propaganda campaign.

Twitter plans to notify nearly 700,000 users who interacted with suspected Russian propagandists.

Other Stories of Interest

Former FBI Director Comey Sends Message of Support to McCabe And Other FBI Officials

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey, whose firing by President Trump has triggered an obstruction of justice investigation, sent a heartfelt message of support to Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe following his earlier-than-expected resignation on Monday

“Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on,” Comey said in a tweet. “He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well.”

Comey added: “I also wish continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you.”

McCabe’s abrupt resignation follows recent conversations with FBI Director Christopher Wray, who warned about a forthcoming inspector general report on the bureau’s handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation.

Trump and other Republicans have accused McCabe of political bias in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email use as secretary of state. Trump even claimed McCabe played an influential role in the bureau’s decision not to seek charges against Clinton.

The accusations began when his wife, Jill McCabe, was a Democratic candidate for state Senate in Virginia and received nearly $500,000 in donations from the political organization of Terry McAuliffe, a longtime friend of the Clintons. 

The FBI determined there was no conflict because McCabe did not oversee the investigation while his wife was still running.

Still, McCabe has been the primary target of a campaign by Trump and other Republicans to undermine confidence in the top ranks of the FBI amid the Russia investigation.

It was revealed last week that Trump urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to pressure the new FBI director, Chris Wray, to fire McCabe. Wray refused and threatened to resign if he was asked to do it again. 

The New York Times reports that Wray suggested McCabe take a demotion. Instead, he stepped down and will take a leave of absence until the is eligible for retirement in a few weeks. 

President Exaggerates Missing Texts Involving FBI Agent Accused of anti-Trump bias

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump pounced on news that the FBI is missing text messages involving a top counter-intelligence official who was removed from the special counsel’s investigation of Russian meddling because of an anti-Trump bias.

In a Tuesday morning tweet, the president suggested the five months’ worth of missing text messages from the agent, Peter Strzok, is “one of the biggest stories on a long time.”

Trouble is, Trump overstated the number of missing texts – “perhaps 50,000” – prompting the Justice Department to correct the president.

Hundreds of text messages between Strzok and lawyer Lisa Page were released to reporters and Congress last month. The FBI released additional text messages on Friday, saying a computer glitch caused the messages to be improperly stored.

The Justice Department is trying to recover the messages.

Trump and conservative allies have pointed to the messages in an aggressively targeted campaign to suggest the special counsel investigation is a “witch hunt” perpetrated by anti-Trump investigators.

Trump Accuses ‘Deep State’ DOJ of Ignoring Clinton Aide Huma Abedin

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s attacks on his intelligence agencies continued Tuesday morning when he suggested the Justice Department is part of the “deep state” that “must finally act” to jail Huma Abedin, a top Hillary Clinton aide.

“Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others,” Trump tweeted.

Huma Abedin, via Wikipedia

Trump’s “deep state” comment suggests the Justice Department is composed of powerful interests working to undermine him.

Trump appears to be referring to reports that Abedin forwarded e-mails from her Yahoo account that included passwords to government systems. Millions of Yahoo accounts were hacked.