Ambassador: Russia Still Likely Meddling in U.S. Elections


Vladimir V. Putin

Despite efforts to combat Russian interference in the mid-term elections, a former U.S. Ambassador says the Kremlin will likely continue to its assault on social media and elsewhere.

Dr. William Courtney, former ambassador to Georgia and Kazakhstan under President Bill Clinton, believes Russia will continue trolling social media, possibly funnel dark money through social welfare groups, and try to hack local voting systems.

“I think we can expect the Russians to be much better informed about the issues, about candidates and about where they can invest their money wisely,” he says.

“Single-issue groups, like the National Rifle Association, there are thousands of those here in Washington, so one could not rule out there would be either witting agents like Maria Butina, or unwitting agents.”

And he says the Kremlin could visibly back some of President Trump’s opponents to deflect attention from its support for him, validating Trump’s claim that Moscow will favor Democrats in November.

The U.S. plays politics abroad as well, but Courtney says the only difference is we don't hide it.

“Particularly Radio Free Europe, it started out as CIA activities after World War II,” he says. “This has all been quite open and public for a long time now.”

As for November, he says it's up to individual voters to sift through the information -- good and bad -- before heading to the ballot box.


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