'US in grip of anti-Russia hysteria, worse than days of Salem witch trials' - analyst
Twitter has published a report on how the company battled against alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election and also mentioned RT.
In the report, Twitter revealed confidential information to the US Senate on RT's advertising outlay.
The company claims over a thousand tweets, "definitely - or potentially - targeted the US market."
RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, however, pointed out that all media outlets spend money on promoting themselves.
“Somehow it did not cross our mind that in a developed democracy, regular media advertising can be considered suspicious or detrimental activity,” Simonyan said.
RT: How credible do you think these allegations are, given the US media isn't naming its sources?
Daniel McAdams: I think the whole story has already fallen apart for the most part. At first, it was the Russian government spent a $100,000 on Facebook ads to support President Trump. Well, that completely fell apart. So they started saying that this troll army somewhere in St. Petersburg spent this money. That’s never been shown to anyone, that’s never been proven, that’s speculation. We’ve never seen any of the ads. Some of them we are told are pro-Hillary, some are anti-Hillary; some are pro-Trump, some are anti-Trump.
I don’t even know what they are trying to say. But we do know one thing; we do know that Senator (Mark) Warner from Virginia went out on Facebook three times … demanding they find some evidence of Russian meddling in the elections. Three times he went out there and threw his weight around. They finally came up with something that’s probably the most cockamamie thing I’ve ever heard in my life; it’s not passing the laugh test. People like Robert Parry have already debunked it in Consortiumnews. Frankly, without any evidence, it is just a laughable story.
RT: Why do you think Russia is the first to blame here?
DM: The US is now in the grips of the kind of mass hysteria that we’ve certainly not seen since the height of the Cold War, maybe even going back to the Salem Witch Trials, where complete irrationality has taken over. If it is a cloudy day – it must be the Russians involved. It is absolutely hysterical. Let’s not forget, Media Matters is a news organization founded by David Brock, a radical ‘Hillaryite,' which is itself a prime creator of fake news in support of Hillary.
The whole Russia thing is the neocons who are dying for another Cold War because it is very profitable for them to have a Cold War. The neocons have made an unholy alliance, an unholy marriage with the dead-ender Hillaryites to blame everything on the Russians to gin up a Cold War, to make the neocons even richer and to make the Hillaryites feel less bad that their candidate was a lousy candidate who lost. That is why we see everything blamed on the Russians. If there was some evidence, perhaps we could have a conversation, but right now it’s just hysteria.
RT: It’s said in the statement that Twitter revealed confidential information on RT's advert expenses to the US Senate. Could you comment on that?
DM: I don’t see why the information is confidential. If it is something as grave and as serious as the Russians actively purchasing Facebook ads of all things to change the election around, why shouldn’t we be able to see what they did? What do they have to hide? Why wouldn’t you simply show the evidence? My guess is because they haven’t seen it themselves; they can’t understand it; they are not tech people; and possibly that there really isn’t any evidence there… They don’t want the American people to scrutinize it. When they actually did come out with a report around the turn of the year – the report on Russian meddling – the evidence was so absolutely absurd. Things like ‘RT was covering Occupy Wall Street (OWS).’ Well, everybody was covering OWS. They had stories about how the elections might not be fair – everyone has those stories…
RT: Do you think these adverts, supposedly used by trolls, could have really turned the tide of the US election?
DM: We’re supposed to believe with this $100,000 on Facebook… We need to look at the states, where President Trump won that he was not expected to win. That is the margin of difference. It is not the over popular vote. It is specific states – like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin - where the president did better than expected, and it put him over the edge in the electoral vote. We’re expected to think that a blue color worker in Pennsylvania was frustrated at the stagnating economy, is sitting there at his computer, and all of the sudden logs into Facebook and sees an ad that makes him jump up and say: “You know what, I’m gonna go vote for Donald Trump.” We’re supposed to accept that that happened millions and millions of times – to get enough people to make the changes that had Trump elected president. It is astronomical stupidity to suggest. This is a billion dollar election. Anyway, even if everything was true, and some Russian wasted $100,000 on Facebook ads – it would not be enough to have a significant effect on the guys sitting in there in Pennsylvania, sitting there in Wisconsin, who made up their minds to go with the economic nationalism of Donald Trump, promising to bring jobs back, versus Hillary Clinton…
RT: In your opinion, is Russian intelligence generally capable of meddling in the election in such a way that it could make a real U-turn in US presidential elections?
DM: Let’s just assume that Russian intelligence is behind this. The Russian intelligence not only would have to know the electoral system better than Americans, but they would also have to know what’s in the hearts and minds of the American people who voted for Trump or for Hillary. This must be the most incredible intelligence service, incredible bureaucracy in the history of the world, that they are inside the minds of these Americans and able to somehow turn a switch and have them do this or that. If that is the case – then we’re all doomed, because they have the superpowers.