A Follow Up Regarding DNI Clapper’s Statements That The Russians Actually Influenced The Outcome Of The 2016 US Election

I just wanted to quickly follow up on AL’s earlier post regarding DNI Clapper’s remarks that:

“Of course the Russian efforts affected the outcome. Surprising even themselves, they swung the election to a Trump win. To conclude otherwise stretches logic, common sense, and credulity to the breaking point. Less than eighty thousand votes in three key states swung the election. I have no doubt that more votes than that were influenced by this massive effort by the Russians.”

Was there active collusion between the Trump campaign — or the candidate himself — and Russian proxies or agents? Clapper does not go that far because he doesn’t have proof. But what he calls Trump’s “aggressive indifference” to the intelligence community’s detailed presentation of Russian activities is, in his view, damning enough. “Allegations of collusion and the results of the election were secondary to the profound threat Russia posed — and poses — to our system,” Clapper writes, and he does a fair job explaining why.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has just released a working paper entitledSocial Media, Sentiment and Public Opinions: Evidence from #Brexit and #USElection. Here’s a link to a pdf of the report, which I’ll also attach to the bottom of the post. I want to excerpt this bit from the introduction to the paper (emphasis mine):

We find that information about the Brexit and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election is disseminated and absorbed among Twitter users within 50-70 minutes. This suggests that information rigidity could be very low for critically important issues with wide coverage or that news cycles in social media are short-lived. We also observe the differential impact of tweeting activities by user type. For example, “remain” supporters in the Brexit Referendum respond stronger and faster to messages created by other “remain” supporters when compared with the reaction to messages from “leave” supporters. Furthermore, human tweeting activity could be influenced by bots. The degree of influence depends on whether a bot provides information consistent with the priors of a human. For instance, a bot supporting the “leave” campaign has a stronger impact on a “leave” supporter than a “remain” supporter. Similarly, Trump supporters are more likely to react to messages spread by pro-Trump bots. Further examination shows that the sentiment of tweets plays an important role in how information is spread: a message with positive (negative) sentiment generates another message with the same sentiment. These results provide evidence consistent with the “echo chambers” effect in social media; that is, people tend to select themselves into groups of like-minded people so that their beliefs are reinforced while information from outsiders might be ignored. Therefore, social media platforms like Twitter could enhance ideological segmentation and make information more fragmented rather than more uniform across people. Finally, we provide a quantitative assessment of how bots’ traffic contributed to the actual vote outcomes. Our results suggest that, given narrow margins of victories in each vote, bots’ effect was likely marginal but possibly large enough to affect the outcomes.

And this section from Section E of the findings on p. 20 of the report (emphasis mine):

But again, even this small difference could have played an important role in the outcome of these close-call elections. Specifically, our analysis in Section 2.5 suggests that a percentage point increase in the share of pro-Trump tweets in total tweets is associated with a 0.59 percentage point increase in the share of actual pro-Trump votes. Therefore, the observed difference between actual and counterfactual pro-Trump tweet shares suggests that 3.23 percentage points of the actual vote could be rationalized with the influence of bots.

This is one econometric analysis of the effects of the Russian active measures and cyberwarfare campaign against the US in the 2016 election and the UK during the Brexit referendum. It is an important piece of unclassified, open sourced supporting analysis to DNI Clapper’s conclusions. But the research shows that there is a strong correlation between the Russian active measures and cyberwarfare campaign and shifts in voting in the US and the UK. This research is not conclusive. It does not and cannot put an end to the suspicions or concerns, but it is important as part of the larger explanation of what happened in the 2016 presidential election and the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Open thread!

Brexit_Election

118 replies
  1. 1
    TenguPhule says:

    Under the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, Congress — which the Constitution says is supposed to regulate trade — authorized the president to impose tariffs when required by “national security,” regardless of any existing free-trade agreements. This law offers relatively broad language about what “national security” means, however. And compared to some other kinds of trade disputes, the process here for determining what justifies a tariff is relatively nontransparent.

    All of which suggests that this authority could be easily abused.

    Previous presidents, however, have very rarely invoked it, generally for sensitive commodities such as uranium and oil. And with good reason: Slapping tariffs willy-nilly in the name of “national security” could provoke other countries to retaliate in the name of their own “national security.”

    “I know if I do it, you’ll do it, too, and that could ruin the whole thing for everybody,” said Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Unfortunately, he said, “Trump doesn’t mind ruining the whole thing for everybody.”

    From Wapo, but the gist is pretty much the same.

  2. 2
    different-church-lady says:

    Eventually they’re going to reveal that vote totals were indeed hacked.

  3. 3
    TenguPhule says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Eventually they’re going to reveal that vote totals were indeed hacked.

    Only from the cold dead hands of the Republicans in charge of their states.

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Once the various arbitration groups way in, these will be struck down. You can’t argue that automobile imports within a free trade agreement area are a threat to national security. Let me rephrase that: the President and Peter Navarro will argue this, but everyone recognizes it’s bullshit.

  5. 5
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Also, who would’ve thought we need trials?

  6. 6
    Wag says:

    F U C K.

    We are so deeply screwed.

  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    A lot of people out there who can vote don’t think much about it, and are easily swayed by media memes. I have a friend who is heavily invested in whatever NPR’s line is, and will stick with it, not realizing for an instant that he’s being manipulated. This is a very smart guy, too, but he has this vulnerability.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    File under no shit!

  9. 9
    Platonailedit says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The law is for little people.

  10. 10
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Let me rephrase that: the President and Peter Navarro will argue this, but everyone recognizes it’s bullshit.

    His argument for Republicans to investigate the investigation into him is also Bullshit. Just saying.

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @TenguPhule: Wisconsin has conveniently lost the records from 2016. Georgia actively tried to do the same with special election results.

    The corruption is appalling.

  12. 12
    Chyron HR says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    But should people who believe in the legal system be allowed to stay in the country, or be exiled along with everyone who doesn’t stand for the national anthem?

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You! Sherlock Holmes! No shit!

  14. 14
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Also, who would’ve thought we need trials?

    I’m just going to find a couch to sit on today and wait for people to join me.

  15. 15
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    File under no shit!

    Putin: Trump, I need you to generate more shit!

    Trump: Yessah!

  16. 16
    TenguPhule says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Wisconsin has conveniently lost the records from 2016. Georgia actively tried to do the same with special election results.

    The corruption is appalling.

    I expect it will be even worse this year.

  17. 17
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, we’ve known this for just about four years now.

  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Have I said otherwise?

  19. 19
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Once those arbitration groups have weighed in and struck down Trump’s first set of unilateral tariffs, might he not try to reimpose a badly disguised v2.0? I’m thinking of his various attempts at a Muslim travel ban.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chyron HR: This is an important question. Let’s see what Tomi! Tomy! Tome! has to say about it, shall we?

  21. 21
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I expect Republicans in Congress will hem and haw and go right along with Trump’s bullshit tariffs in the end. And then Canada and Mexico go “No, Fuck U!” and things get messy.

  22. 22
    B.B.A. says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, be fair. He’s talking about immigration, and anyone can tell a filthy illegal from a real American. Who needs a trial for that? /s

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Wisconsin has conveniently lost the records from 2016.

    Link?

  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: Of course he will. He and his advisors that push this stupidity – Miller, Navarro, Ross – will just keep egging him on. They’re consistently persistent.

  25. 25
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Is that Cyrillic on the side of that tube? is that perchance the fuselage of the missile?

  26. 26
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think I mentioned I was in L’viv when the Smolensk crash happened. Literally everybody assumed it was the Russians.

  27. 27
    mike in dc says:

    There will be many more academic studies and analyses. No doubt eventually Nate Silver’s crew will roll one out as well. He already concluded the Comey letter fucked Clinton.

  28. 28
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Chet Murthy: I don’t know if *that* is the missile, but the stenciling on the side is not just Cyrillic, it is specifically Russian.

  29. 29
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I’ve always wondered about this. Why a Malaysian plane? Did the Russians have some kind of beef with us? Was it really bcause they could point to the colours of its livery and make up that absurd story about the Ukrainians mistaking it for Putin’s official jet?

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chet Murthy: Tis and tis!

    Very good eye.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: Pretty much.

  32. 32
    NotMax says:

    The Butterfly Effect for the digital age.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    File under no shit, Sherlock!

    There you go, Adam.

    EDIT: Curse you, VDE @ #13, curse you good and hard.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    Therefore, the observed difference between actual and counterfactual pro-Trump tweet shares suggests that 3.23 percentage points of the actual vote could be rationalized with the influence of bots.

    I can only assume that the biased mainstream media coverage had an even bigger effect.

  36. 36
    NotMax says:

    @raven

    New office liberates the inner pedant for raven. Film at 11.

    :)

  37. 37
    different-church-lady says:

    @Baud: The bots drive the media. That was a major part of the point of the bots: get something to trend on social media so that the news media felt obligated to cover it.

  38. 38
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    I can only assume that the biased mainstream media coverage had an even bigger effect.

    It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: You had. I deleted that comment as I conflated the two airplane shoot downs. My apologies for any confusion.

  40. 40
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    The Butterfly Effect for the digital age.

    Locusts.

    Butterflies implies no malicious forethought involved.

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    Hillary’s failure to visit Wisconsin must have resulted in a 50% swing.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @raven: About 278 last time I was on a scale.

  43. 43
    rikyrah says:

    @different-church-lady:
    With the state elections in Kansas were the test case.
    I will forever believe that.

  44. 44
    Jeffro says:

    @TenguPhule: Rampell has been taking a hammer to the Trumpov team’s economic non-plan for a good while now, and she’s getting better…and shrill-er…every week. Good for her.

  45. 45
    raven says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Once the various arbitration groups way in,

    There was a dude in my Vets outfit here that had “101st Abn, Fu-Buy and Way” on his truck.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Baud says:

    @raven: weigh

  48. 48
    Mandalay says:

    So after Trump told European companies to GTFO of Iran or else, Europe bravely clutched their pearls and headed for the fainting couch.

    In an interesting new development, Iran is now telling Europe to grow a pair or get lost so that they can go back to making a bomb: Khamenei, in reply to Trump, gives Europe 6-point Ultimatum on Nuclear Deal

    Bolton must be in danger of jerking himself off to death.

  49. 49

    Here’s the latest North Korean statement. As one of my mentors used to say, Seize the high ground.

  50. 50
    Baud says:

    @Mandalay: I agree.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: Whey?

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @raven: I’ll be on the lookout!

  53. 53
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    N. Korea has just published the English-language version of its statement on Trump’s pullout from the Singapore summit.

    The professional contrast to Trump’s note is beyond fucking embarrassing.

  54. 54
    Jeffro says:

    @rikyrah: Good for him…we’ve been saying this for over a year now. Welcome to the party, Steve Schmidt.

  55. 55
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: curds and

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: Kurds.

  57. 57
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mandalay:

    3. Every time Trump announces a new boycott on Iran, Europe must explicitly reject it and stand against it.

    4. If the US manages to damage Iran’s ability to export its petroleum (it is now exporting 2.5 mn barrels a day), Europe at Iran’s request must make up the shortfall. It may be, Khamenei said, that the Islamic Republic will view a reduction in its oil exports as a positive. If, however, the Iranian government decides it is being harmed by the US ability to strong-arm some of Iran’s customers into ceasing their imports of Iranian oil, Europe must agree to hold Iran harmless.

    The worst part is we can’t blame them for this.

  58. 58
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: All we need now is for Iraq to embarrass us, and the Axis of Evil will have gotten their revenge.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I was wondering why you mentioned Smolensk, but far be it from me to argue with a front-pager with a PhD. I’m just a grunt in the comments while you’re wicked smaht.

  61. 61
    Baud says:

    @raven: Grant.

  62. 62
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    All we need now is for Iraq to embarrass us, and the Axis of Evil will have gotten their revenge.

    Didn’t you see who just won major elections in Iraq?

  63. 63
  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    @TenguPhule:
    But, the Chinese blowback was a pretty Damn good exercise in precision targeting.

  65. 65
    Jeffro says:

    Just trying to picture what would happen if a former DNI was basically running around trying to tell the county that the PRC had assisted President Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign to the point of swinging the election. Oh and that Prez Clinton had been tweeting for about 16 months that there was “NO COLLUSION!” between her campaign and the PRC. Oh and that she – and her Democrat flunkies in Congress – were calling the FBI “treasonous” for looking into this, and demanding an investigation of the investigators.

    Just trying to picture it.

  66. 66
    Baud says:

    @TenguPhule: so it’s only a matter of time.

  67. 67
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Anchors away!

  68. 68
    rikyrah says:

    Nothing from Alain about the problems with the mobile site?
    With the putting in of ID information every single time?😠

  69. 69
    raven says:

    I called my wife a one digit midget today and she say “what”???

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mandalay: Actually that’s not what is actually happening. The EU is preparing guidance and instructions for European companies that provide them legal cover and protection under EU law and various international trade agreements to ignore the threat of US sanctions and to continue to do business with Iran. That was reported last Monday. Khameini’s letter is just posturing. This doesn’t mean that the EU will actually do the right thing here, but that’s what they’re working towards.

  71. 71
    Baud says:

    @Jeffro: Conservative voters would vote for Jill Stein because the GOP wasn’t pure enough?

  72. 72
    TenguPhule says:

    @rikyrah:

    But, the Chinese blowback was a pretty Damn good exercise in precision targeting.

    Actually that article was referring to the Tariffs Trump is threatening against Mexico and Canada.

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: Hugh?

  74. 74
    raven says:

    @rikyrah: He or she said it is what it is for a while.

  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Who would’ve suspected?

    I’m going to laugh my tuchas off when Kim shows up in Singapore in June for a photo op and no US delegation in sight.

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    @Jeffro:
    Rampell has been excellent. For awhile now.👏👏

  77. 77
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    so it’s only a matter of time.

    Pretty much.

  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: Short! Parachute off of a dime?

  79. 79
    Kay says:

    “Please ask Assange for any State or [Hillary Clinton] e-mail from August 10 to August 30–particularly on August 20, 2011,” reads one message.

    Guffaw. On good days I think it’s hysterical that the entire country has to pretend this didn’t happen. MUST. Because if we admit it happened we’d have to do something.

    It’s just such a ludicrous position to be in, and we’re ALL in it. Trapped in it, really.

  80. 80
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    {{{{Omnes}}}

  81. 81
    rikyrah says:

    Anyone know Cole’s Twitter handle?

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Muqtada al Sadr’s list won the majority in the Iraqi national elections and gets to form the next government. So it’s coming!

  83. 83
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yep, tomorrow is it after 28 years. And she is only 60!!!!!

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Long day. Very sore and tired from the gym. Should probably have gone to bed and not done a second post today.

  85. 85
    Baud says:

    @Kay: Something happened?

  86. 86

    @Adam L Silverman: The next likely move seems to be Trump and his supporters claiming that his willingness to walk brought Kim back to the table.

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: Congrats to her.

  88. 88
    Boussinesque says:

    @Adam L Silverman: one of my tutoring students this year was from Holland, and he mentioned that there were a fair number of people from his country on that flight, and they’d also always assumed it was the Russians.

  89. 89
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: Much of the country would be burning.

  90. 90

    @Adam L Silverman: You should have Adm Jackson do the weighing, It’ll be down to 178 in no time.

  91. 91
    Lizzy L says:

    @TenguPhule: Do you have any beer? Because I really need one.

    You just sit; I’ll bring it…

  92. 92
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: He’s working on it. I let him know that there were problems last night. Sometimes the delay is because he has to hear back from WP or any attempt to fix things will make them worse.

  93. 93
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Will he do anything vile to the Kurds?

  94. 94
    Mandalay says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I didn’t even bother with Europe’s response to Trump’s bluster since it is a paper tiger. Trump has Europe by the balls, and he knows it. Not because the United States is more powerful, but because Europe is divided and lacks spine.

    Large European companies will voluntarily comply with Trump’s demands because it is in their financial interests to do so.

  95. 95
    Steve on St. Simons Island says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I’ve always wondered about this. Why a Malaysian plane? Did the Russians have some kind of beef with us

    Putin is envious of your mad guitar skillz

  96. 96
    Jeffro says:

    @Baud: That is some good translating there. I believe you are correct, with the addition of “…and even more Wilmer voters would just stay home”.

  97. 97
  98. 98

    @rikyrah: It’s in the column on the right. @Johngcole

    ETA: And also, if you prefer. Woop Ditty Scoop Poop

  99. 99
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Amir Khalid: I think it was the DNR guys (the “separatists”) who had just enough training to operate the Buk but not enough skills to tell what they were shooting at. MH17 was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  100. 100
    Platonailedit says:

    @Mandalay: Yeah, why don’t the europeans save our sorry asses when we wilfully elected the traitorous thug to a powerful post. Dumb ass.

  101. 101
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I’d likely be dead if I weighed 178 lbs.

  102. 102
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    And they didn’t care about the blowback from killing 300 innocent people?

  103. 103
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m going to laugh my tuchas off when Kim shows up in Singapore in June for a photo op and no US delegation in sight.

    “It could be that he lacked the will for the summit or he might not have felt confident.”

    I’m wondering if they also mailed him a bag o’ little blue pills with that one? OUCH

  104. 104
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Millard Filmore: Most likely not.

  105. 105
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: Given who was operating the missiles, no. Never occurred to them.

  106. 106
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: If your demarche lasts longer than four hours, please contact the charge de affairs…//

  107. 107

    @Adam L Silverman: Not according to Adm Jackson, you’d be in the best health and live to be 150.

  108. 108
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m dying. I know that NK has actual, you know, strategic interests and what not to be spending their time on. But how can any country resist trolling Putin’s Puppet/Putz artfully and endlessly to the detriment of their day jobs?

  109. 109
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Yippee!

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: No one wants me to live to 50, let alone 150.

  111. 111
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: I have no idea.

  112. 112
  113. 113
  114. 114
    Steeplejack says:

    @rikyrah:

    He said this morning that he had submitted a trouble ticket to the people who did the mobile module and he was waiting to hear back.

  115. 115
    Steeplejack says:

    @rikyrah:

    @Johngcole.

  116. 116
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    The interesting thing about this is, the GOP strategy is “feed and excite the base, keep it close, and count on limits to voting and such to swing it, just barely. And way back when, I never tried to say that I thought the Russian interference swing the election, I did say that it wouldn’t surprise me if it was found, over time, that they tilted the playing field just enough to swing things.

    That, and Captain Sanctimonious, ol’ mister “I trashed Hillary Clinton because the GOP accused her, without any basis, of criminal activity, so I just had to reinforce that narrative shortly before the election” seem to have done it.

    Well, that, and the complicity of the media. Let’s all stop and think: do criminal conspiracies start because two planes happen to be on the same tarmac? And yet, they gleefully made that out to be a Big Deal – a powerless fellow meets with an old acquaintance, with both parties far, far too intelligent to plot anything in such a bleeding obvious manner, even if there was any basis for plotting!

    It’s really kind of scary just how much damage the GOP has done to US society with their constant conspiracy theories and gaming of the refs… they left us open to precisely this kind of coup.

  117. 117
    Steeplejack says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    That “column” on the right doesn’t show up in mobile mode, which is what I believe rikyrah is using.

  118. 118
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Ballot images, not actual ballots. And two counties out of 71, not the entire state. I am not defending the actions, but it was not what you originally described.

Comments are closed.