And Trump wanted to drop the sanctions. Remember that.
The Daily Beast reports that
Russian-funded covert propaganda posts on Facebook were likely seen by a minimum of 23 million people and might have reached as many as 70 million, according to analysis by an expert on the social-media giant’s complex advertising systems. That means up to 28 percent of American adults were swept in by the campaign.
And USAToday has more cyberwar crimes from the Kremlin:
Russia has meddled in the affairs of at least 27 European and North American countries since 2004 with interference that ranges from cyberattacks to disinformation campaigns, according to an analysis by a surveillance organization.
The pattern of Russian government-linked behavior in the United States is similar to that seen in other countries, said Laura Rosenberger, director of the alliance [for Securing Democracy, a non-profit analyst group.]
“These are all the tools they use to undermine democratic institutions in different places,” Rosenberger said. “For a lot of Americans, the question of Russian interference in U.S. elections came out of nowhere. It sounds crazy to most people that this has been part of the Russian playbook for more than a decade.”
The reason far-right candidate Marie LePen lost in France is that a critical mass of French voters shrugged their shoulders at social media propaganda they knew was from Putin. French media stops election coverage 44 hours ahead of their election day, which is on a Sunday, preventing last-minute hacking attempts like those that happened during that election. Another important difference?
"We don’t have a Fox News in France," said Johan Hufnagel, managing editor of the leftist daily Libération. “There’s no broadcaster with a wide audience and personalities who build this up and try to use it for their own agendas.”
He also said that French voters, with the benefit of hindsight, were suspicious of destabilizing developments like the ones that may have affected the vote in the American presidential election and Britain’s so-called Brexit referendum last June to leave the European Union.
“French voters didn’t want to get into that game,” Mr. Hufnagel said. “They were mentally prepared after Trump and Brexit and the Russians, even if it’s not clear they’re behind it.”