Unnatural Russian confidence in Trump victory quickly turned to fear of impeachment

Behind Trump, Pence.
Behind Trump, Pence.

The Russian government — which laid plans for a Trump presidency when almost no one else seriously considered the possibility – started worrying about impeachment the minute he was elected.

That’s one of the findings in a report produced for the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Russian influence campaign on social media in the 2016 election.

The report tracked the Russian-government Internet Research Agency’s social media campaign and found a sudden shift after Trump’s surprise victory:

“There were extremely immediate posts that attempted to pre-empt calls for impeachment,” the report found. In the one example provided, this was achieved “by framing Vice President Mike Pence as an even worse option.”

According to the report, a post by the fake Facebook group LGBT United on November 10th read (sic): “In case anyone forgot, Mike Pence in the White House would mean disaster for queer people!! I heavily disagree with his policies regarding church and state and his lgbtq policy. I see alot of leftist calling for impeachment or assassination on trump but truely Trump is worlds better than Pence when talking about equal rights for all…”

The concern that Pence would be worse than Trump on LGBTQ issues is, in fact, quite legitimate — but not coming from pro-Trump Russian hacker trolls.

The report, released on Monday, was produced by New Knowledge, a cybersecurity company based in Austin, Tex., with researchers from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and Canfield Research LLC.

Criminal complaints from special counsel Robert Mueller and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia have previously documented that the Russian social media campaign continued well after the election.

The Washington Post on Tuesday described the report’s conclusions that Russian operatives also turned their sites on special counsel Robert Mueller, using fake accounts on Facebook, and Twitter calling him corrupt proclaiming that allegations of Russian interference were conspiracy theories.

See the White House Watch Impeachment Watch archive.

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