If you thought news reports concerning Donald Trump and Russia couldn’t grow more absurd, you may want to sit down for this update. It seems that a deluge of pro-Donald Trump comments that are popping up around the internet could be coming from an army of Russian internet trolls. Adrian Chen, a staff writer for The New Yorker, reported last year in a New York Times Magazine piece how Russia is paying hackers to wreak havoc on the internet with spam, and some of it has been filtering into the United States. Recently, in an interview on the Longform podcast, Chen said that he still monitors a few known Russian troll social media accounts periodically for new activity, and he stated that the trolls have been pushing specific spam across the U.S. Note that this interview was conducted long before the DNC hack turned a spotlight on the Trump/Russia connection.
“I created this list of Russian trolls when I was researching. And I check on it once in a while, still. And a lot of them have turned into conservative accounts, like fake conservatives. I don’t know what’s going on, but they’re all tweeting about Donald Trump and stuff. I feel like it’s some kind of really opaque strategy of electing Donald Trump to undermine the US or something. Like false-flag kind of thing. You know, that’s how I started thinking about all this stuff after being in Russia.”
Chen believes these trolls, who are being paid by the Russian government, have been actively trying to meddle with American affairs and politics, which has been reportedly proven as true. He believes this is an old KGB tactic, which President Vladimir Putin was once an agent for.
This type of activity is just another in a long list of unsavory acts supposedly perpetrated by the Russian government. American officials believe Russia was behind the recent Democratic National Committee email leaks, and some even speculate that they are actively trying to get Donald Trump elected president. Trump, for his part, has not hidden his admiration for the Russian president, even presumably inviting hackers to freely hack the U.S.
Trump himself has denied he is in cahoots with Russia, but his open invitation to Russian hackers has prompted cause for concern.