America, you've been duped!
For many months, Democrats, the mainstream media and even social-media networks have been insisting President Trump colluded with the Russians during the 2016 presidential election and Russia purchased political ads on Facebook and Twitter to stop Americans from voting for Hillary Clinton.
But the whole truth is, Russia bought many ads after Election Day and plastered them all over Facebook and Twitter in a coordinated effort to undermine President Trump.
That's according to top lawyers from Facebook and Twitter who testified before a Senate Judiciary panel Tuesday.
Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch told the panel that a Russian troll farm called Internet Research Agency created content after Nov. 8 in a campaign focused on "fomenting discord about the validity of [Trump's] election," Politico reported.
Prior to the election, Russia often attacked Hillary Clinton, according to a January report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
"During the election, they were trying to create discord between Americans, most of it directed at Clinton. After the election, you saw Russian-tied groups and organizations trying to undermine President Trump's legitimacy. Is that what you saw on Facebook?" asked Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at Tuesday's hearing.
Stretch and Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett said Graham's statement was "accurate."
During his Wednesday broadcast, talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh called news of Russia's aggressive post-Election Day campaign against Trump "a bombshell" flying "underneath the radar."
"Now, folks, that is 180 degrees out of phase with what the conventional thinking is," Limbaugh said of the anti-Trump revelations. "The conventional thinking is that the Russians wanted Trump to be elected, they were scared to death or whatever of Hillary, and they wanted Trump because Trump's an idiot, Trump's a boob, Trump's blackmailable, whatever the reasons that we've been given.
"So Facebook and Twitter, what they're trying to do now is explain why the vast majority of the ads and retweets the Russians were supposed to be behind occurred after the election, not before, and that those ads attempted to undermine Trump, not promote him. This, to me, is a bombshell! And it's under the radar. Nobody's reporting it or talking about."
And why won't anyone talk about revelations concerning Russia's anti-Trump ads?
"It doesn't further the 'Trump colluded with Russia' narrative, number one," he said. "Number two, it's the exact opposite of what these senators wanted, on the Democrat side, to hear."
Limbaugh noted that it's "so odd" to have legal representatives from Facebook and Twitter telling Congress that Russian ads appeared after the election.
"It looks to me like they went to great pains to not have to admit that the Russians were trying to undermine Trump until they had to," he said. "This is the exact opposite of what everybody has been led to believe. This is actually an amazing bombshell that completely – well, on the surface, it undermines the Trump-Russia collusion narrative. And I’m telling you it is going to be ignored. ...
"What makes this a bombshell is that up 'til now everybody – including Facebook and Twitter – has tried to lead us to believe that Trump was colluding with Russia and that Russia was buying ads to try to convince people to vote against Hillary! In fact, everything is the exact opposite."
In an interview with Politico, James Lewis, an international cyber policy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, claimed Russia's actions are somewhat typical Kremlin information-warfare tactics.
"Their goal is to create confusion and dissent. The target is the U.S. and NATO, not any particular candidate. They just want chaos," Lewis told Politico. "It went from being a grudge match against Clinton to what they thought was a priceless opportunity to inflict harm."
Facebook has said as many as 126 million people, or about 40 percent of the U.S. population, saw the ads planted by the Internet Research Agency, which is located in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Stretch, Facebook's lawyer, said the social media company cannot determine if Russian ads ever actually swayed the U.S. election.
Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, asked: "In an election where a total of about 115,000 votes would have changed the outcome, can you say that the false and misleading propaganda people saw on your Facebook didn't have an impact on the election?"
Stretch replied, "We’re not well-positioned to judge why any one person or an entire electorate voted as it did."
A few of the Russian-bought ads were made public by Democrats Wednesday. The following are two posts Democrats claim Russians used to influence the election in favor of Trump.