Russian think tank planned to influence the U.S. election, new documents reveal

; Date: Sat May 27 2017

Tags: Facebook »»»» Social Media Warfare »»»» Fake News

A Russian government-controlled think tank had outlined plans on how to swing the 2016 U.S. election toward Donald Trump, according to a Reuters report Thursday. New documents reveal a strategy of using social media to bolster Mr. Trump and undermine faith in America’s electoral system. William Brangham learns more from former CIA officer John Sipher and Ned Parker of Reuters. The Reuters report concerns two 'confidential' documents from the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, which was part of the successor to the KGB. These documents provide the framework and rationale for Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 US elections.

Document 1: "recommended the Kremlin launch a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barack Obama..."

Document 2: Was distributed in October 2016, and warned that Trump was likely to lose. It recommended "it was better for Russia to end its pro-Trump propaganda and instead intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the U.S. electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation in an effort to undermine her presidency."

Remember that in mid-October, it sure looked like Trump's candidacy was a goner, and that Trump himself began talking about voter fraud and illegitimate election processes. But then some things happened - such as Comey talking about more e-mails that had been found - and things happened - and we got a different-than-expected result.

The documents do not discuss "cyber attacks" but instead the social media influence campaign -- what I'm calling "Social Media Warfare".

Source: (

About the Author(s)

( David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.