Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, released more than 3,000 copies of Facebook ads created by a Russian company, proving that Russians used Democrat Party rhetoric to divide the nation during the 2016 presidential election.
“Republicans are racist homophobes who hate immigrants and want to put people of color back in chains,” said Schiff. “But there’s no question that Russia weaponized my talking points to poison the Democrat candidate.”
Schiff and his colleagues have made all 3,519 advertisements available online, including content about the Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality, and slavery. And they show that Russians targeted places like Baltimore, Cleveland and St. Louis, which have experienced high-profile police shootings and counter-protests from Democrat activists.
“It began by increasing the discontent we’d already fomented,” said Schiff. “It was a classic Russian intelligence technique of taking the most extreme voices in any society and amplifying them.”
Schiff said one ad that reached Facebook users across the United States warned that “Liberals actually want to destroy American history and culture.”
“Can you believe that?” Schiff asked incredulously. “Some ads even said our most precious institutions – like the Boy Scouts – must be renamed or abolished. And yes, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves and we must erase them from history. But all patriotic Americans should resent Russian meddling in our Cultural Revolution.”
By releasing these ads, House Democrats hope for more transparency, Schiff said. “By exposing these advertisements, we hope to better protect legitimate political expression and discussions and better safeguard Americans from having their information ecosystem polluted by foreign adversaries.”