Trump Says ‘Fake News Media,’ Not Facebook Ads, Influenced 2016 Elections

By Joshua Philipp, The Epoch Times
September 22, 2017 6:17 pm Last Updated: September 23, 2017 11:49 am

In a pair of tweets President Donald Trump used the recent controversy over Facebook ads and their possible connection to Russian interference to point to what he regards as the real scandal in the 2016 presidential election.

On Sept. 21 Facebook handed over information to Congress regarding advertisements on its network allegedly placed by Russians.

Facebook discovered close to $100,000 in advertisements that may have been from Russian sources between July 2015 and May 2017. Its chief security officer, Alex Stamos, said in a Sept. 6 release that the amount includes anyone who appeared to be Russian—and included users in the United States who had Russian set as their default language.

Stamos noted most of the advertisements did not appear to support any candidate. He stated, “The vast majority of ads run by these accounts didn’t specifically reference the US presidential election, voting or a particular candidate.”

President Donald Trump commented on the latest development on Sept. 22, stating on Twitter, “The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?”

Trump added, “The greatest influence over our election was the Fake News Media “screaming” for Crooked Hillary Clinton. Next, she was a bad candidate!”

Collusion

Leaked Democrat emails released by WikiLeaks seem to provide evidence for Trump’s tweets. The emails show that journalists from several major news outlets may have colluded with the Clinton campaign during the 2016 elections. These included individuals from The New York Times, Politico, The Huffington Post, and several others.

An email from July 7, 2015, shows New York Times journalist Mark Leibovich getting quotes from Hillary Clinton with her campaign approved by the campaign. Leibovich provided the quotes, and told the representative “i [sic] wanted the option to use all — and you could veto what you didn’t want.”

In an April 2014 email, Frank Islam, a Huffington Post blogger tells Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, “I am committed to make sure she is elected as the next President of United States. I am reaching out to my friends to raise money for her campaign. Please let me know if I can be of any service to you.”

In another email, Politico reporter Glenn Thrush tells Podesta on April 30, 2015, that “Because I have become a hack I will send u the whole section that pertains to u [sic],” and adds, “Please don’t share or tell anyone I did this.”

A leaked document, posted by Wikileaks, from Correct the Record, a super PAC that supported Clinton’s 2016 campaign, states it had “identified 372 surrogates including influential and frequent pundits on broadcast and cable news for Presidential 2016 politics,” and says it provided these individuals with “around 80 sets of talking points” on how to portray Clinton.

It adds that Correct the Record had hosted media training sessions attended by “over 200 surrogates” where it taught them “To better prepare themselves to defend and promote Hillary Clinton.”

A Clinton campaign email from July 31, 2015, stated that news stories on a Clinton statement would “largely be pre-written in the morning based on excerpts that we are providing tonight,” and added, “The reporters will do some tiddying [sic] up of the stories as the speech is delivered/completed, but they will largely be filed as she goes on.”

Wikileaks exposed numerous other cases of collusion between the Clinton campaign and major news outlets.

A March 2016 email on political strategy to Podesta notes that Clinton may have needed to change her messaging since, “we’ve all been quite content to demean government, drop civics and in general conspire to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry. The unawareness remains strong but compliance is obviously fading rapidly.”