Late Night Open Thread: Putin’s Other Puppet

This might be embarrassing, to a campaign capable of embarrassment:

While much attention has focused on the question of whether the Trump campaign encouraged or conspired with Russia, the effort to target Sanders supporters has been a lesser-noted part of the story. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, in a case filed last year against 13 Russians accused of interfering in the U.S. presidential campaign, said workers at a St. Petersburg facility called the Internet Research Agency were instructed to write social media posts in opposition to Clinton but “to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.”

That strategy could receive new attention with the release of Mueller’s report, expected within days.

Sanders told Vermont Public Radio last year that one of his campaign workers figured out what was going on, alerted Clinton campaign officials and told them, “I think these guys are Russians.” But Sanders said he never knew, and he later backed off his suggestion that his staff did. A spokesman referred questions to 2016 campaign manager Jeff Weaver, who said in an interview that Sanders “misspoke a little bit and conflated a few of the facts . . . He did not know, I did not know, none of us knew” that Russia was behind the efforts.

Only recently, with the latest analysis of Twitter data, has the extent of the Russian disinformation campaign been documented on that social media platform…

Russia’s effort to promote Sanders as a way to influence the U.S. election began shortly after he declared his candidacy in the spring of 2015, according to Mueller’s indictment of the 13 Russians. The aim was to defeat or weaken Clinton, who had angered Russian President Vladimir Putin when she was secretary of state.

Around the time that Sanders was featured on RT, Russian employees at the Internet Research Agency were given a document explaining how to influence the U.S. election. The workers were told to “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them),” according to Mueller’s indictment of the Russians.

The Twitter database shows the impact. The tweets sent from Russia, cloaked to look as though they came from Americans, included: “Bernie Sanders looks to black voters to boost his underdog campaign”; “Hillary Clinton’s summer of drama creates openings for Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden”; and “I’m for Bernie all the way!”…

Linvill, the Clemson researcher, said the Russians saw Sanders as “just a tool.” “He is a wedge to drive into the Democratic Party,” resulting in lower turnout for Clinton, he said. The tweets suggested either voting for Trump or a third-party candidate such as Green Party nominee Jill Stein, or writing in Sanders’s name…






60 replies
  1. 1
    Damien says:

    Summary of this entire thread:
    “Fuck Bernie Sanders.”
    “But he’s the front runner!”
    “Did I stutter? Fuckem”

  2. 2
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Yup. Wilmer is a tool. Waiting 2+ years for him to fuck off to the forest to take up knitting.

  3. 3
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    A spokesman referred questions to 2016 campaign manager Jeff Weaver Sgt. Schultz, who said in an interview that Sanders “misspoke a little bit and conflated a few of the facts . . . He did not know, I did not know, none of us knew”

    /fixed

  4. 4
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Damien: How can he be the front runner when he’s behind by double digits to a guy who isn’t even running?

  5. 5
    Mr. Kite says:

    I’m not a Sanders supporter but a puppet accusation is over the top and offensive.

  6. 6
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Fuck Bernie. It can’t be said enough.

  7. 7
    Damien says:

    @Mr. Kite: If it walks like a fuck, quacks like a fuck, and does the work of a hostile foreign power like a fuck….

    ETA: Clearly I meant duck, but my iPhone seems to know better

  8. 8
    Damien says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    I’m basically just quoting a Bernt to a crisp acquaintance, who cannot hear one bad word about Bernie

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Emerald says:

    I have seen the video of Bernie himself saying “Of course we knew it was the Russians.”

    As I recall the statement was to his fanboi Chris Hayes.

    No, I don’t think he was an actual puppet. I think he was happy for the help, though.

  11. 11
    Jay says:

    One effect that nobody is talking about, is the effect of Russian Disinfo, along with the actions of targetted factions, to further radicalize segments of the voting public.

    We know that Candace Owen’s and Jordan Peterson’s YouTubes sent the Christchurch shooter spiralling down into Nazi mass murder.

    We don’t know how many QAnon followers came out of Disinfo.

  12. 12

    @Damien: My guess is you must type “fuck” a lot more often than “duck”.

    I can’t blame you.

  13. 13
    Jay says:

    @Emerald:

    There’s a lot of things “Russian” about Wilmer. Way more than three.

  14. 14
    Jay says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    Siri?

    Alexa?

    “That’s not what I meant!”

  15. 15
    Mary G says:

    Wilmer was at best a useful idiot. If he keeps putting off releasing his tax returns something is really up.

  16. 16
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Damien: And won’t release his taxes like a fuck.

  17. 17
    prostratedragon says:

    “Come l’ombra (Like the Shadow),” Trio Lescano

    (Happen to have just finished watching the movie.)

  18. 18
    Jay says:

    @Mary G:

    “at best”,

  19. 19
    Ruckus says:

    @Mary G:
    He said he was going to release 10 yrs worth by April 15. That of course is Monday. This coming Monday. Two days away. I don’t recall him stating what year though. So it could be Monday, it could be 4 yrs from now. I’m not holding my breath in any event.

  20. 20
    hervevillechaizelounge says:

    @Emerald:

    I not only remember Sanders saying he knew the Russians were helping him, but he claimed one of his campaign staff alerted the Clinton campaign—-who subsequently did nothing with the information. (Maybe everybody was too busy plotting to murder Seth Rich?)

    Am I high? I would swear that happened. But it doesn’t matter, so I’m not willing to google.

    Regardless, we ballon-juicers have done the math and we know the deal, but because the MSM is too busy shitting on the other candidates (especially ones with those icky, sticky Venus fly-trap lady parts) the general public is completely unaware.

    And I have no idea how to remedy this situation.

  21. 21
    Jay says:

    @hervevillechaizelounge:

    Googled it for you:

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/24/bernie-sanders-russian-trolls-false-story-423413

    While I am willing to give Wilmer slack on the Russian Sanctions* thats about it.

    *Biden also voted against them for the same reason. ReThugs included Iranian Sanctions as well in the bill.

  22. 22
    scav says:

    A more pleasing break for any wandering insomniacs in need of same: World’s first canine forensic reconstruction, a Neolithic dog from Orkney.

  23. 23
    Barb 2 says:

    Bernie — just go away. That is all.

    Bernie will not be able to buy the WA State vote. Primary vote rules! We don’t have to put up with bernie cult creeps!

  24. 24
    J R in WV says:

    @Mr. Kite:

    I’m not a Sanders supporter but a puppet accusation is over the top and offensive.

    The very definition of a puppet when you see Senator Bernie Sanders. Being manipulated at all times, while being able to profess complete ignorance of the strings being pulled. Would it be worse if we knew he was aware of the strings all the time, and doing as he was instructed because he:

    (a) loved Soviet Russia so much when he went there for his honeymoon
    (b) or was totally compromised by things that happened during that honeymoon,
    (c) was thus owned by the Soviet KGB until
    (d) after the fall of the Soviet State was then totally owned by the FSB and/or GRU of the new Russian “democracy”
    (e) received millions of rubles = dollars in tiny contributions from Russian Internet fictitious persons, under $27, which are not reported at the same level of detail as $2,000 donations.

    That is the picture of Bernard Sanders from my vantage atop the news and information architecture of the FEC and the Internets. You don’t have to be in DC to look up the funding reports, the FEC violations, the sexual harassment reports, the old rape fantasies in his fiction, his lack of a paying job, actual employment, as in work he was paid for, ever. Totally not qualified, even if you are a socialist as I am, he fails at socialism totally. No actual detailed plan to help the people, to draw the capitalists under control, nothing! No method or process to provide health care any better than the for profit capitalists provide. Nothing!!

    There is no accusation about Bernard Sanders that can be made that is “over the top” — he’s been there, he hasn’t done anything. Nothing.

    But he has always avoided voting for Russian sanctions, always. He has always voted the way he would if his balls were in a jar in the basement of the Kremlin, in the tiny division of the FSB that keeps track of where the balls of owned people are kept in the closet for those items. The Russians can count on him to do what needs to be done for the Russian government.

    WE can’t count on him to vote for gun control after another miserable murder spree. We can’t count on him to vote to control pollution. We can’t count on him to support Democratic Party goals, or Democratic candidates, or to support the campaign of the person who won the actual elections to become the Party Nominee. No, none of that can be done.
    But the NRA can count on his support!

    WHILE he, Senator Sanders, is running for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President, he’s already signed up to run for reelection to the Senate from Vermont. But NOT AS A DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE, BECAUSE HE ISN’T A DEMOCRAT, AGAIN, STILL NEVER WAS, NEVER WILL BE !!!!

    So, “Mr. Kite,” for your very first post ever on Balloon-Juice, you come to the defense of an indefensible candidate, Mr. Bernard Sanders, once and future Independent wanna-be socialist.

    Welcome to the community of the Jackal-commentary – on duty in St Petersburg.RU doing what you get paid to do. This little get together was fun for me, I hope you enjoyed it as well~!~

  25. 25
    Jay says:

    @J R in WV:

    Nancy Smash slow clap
    👏👏👏👏👏

  26. 26
    J R in WV says:

    I must say, Mr. Kite seemed to get a great response to his first appearance here at B-J central, and I thought the Jackals did us proud in the process.

    Some nights when the insomnia wakes me up a 3 or 4 am, there’s isn’t much opportunity to write a long piece about why someone is a Kite rather than a sharp observer of the human condition. So tonite I’m grateful to MR Kite’s employer for allowing me the chance to welcome Mr Kite to Balloon-Juice with an old fashioned West Virginia welcome.

    I did leave one detail out of my little piece about Mr. Kite’s hmmm, he says he’s not a supporter of Sanders, but what was that little remark, then? Anyway, I left out the traditional Fuck’em for the little Troll.

    So, as for Mr. Kite. Fuck’em! And with a rusty farm implement, also, too. Now I’m gonna read some funny comics and eat an apple and go back to bed.

    Good night all~!!

  27. 27
    Anotherlurker says:

    @J R in WV: Preach it! Tell the truth, Brother JR!
    I really, really need a cigarette after that truly righteous bit of truth telling! (BTW, I havn’t used tobacco for 35+ years)

  28. 28
    Jay says:

    @J R in WV:

    Tell us how you really feel,

    😛😂🤣😂🤣😂

    Thanks for that.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Jay: How could Biden vote against Russian sanctions when he wasn’t in the Senate?

  31. 31
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @J R in WV: I, for one, am grateful for your insomnia, which has saved me a great deal of typing here before my first cup of coffee.

    Bravo!

  32. 32
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Jay probably knows that Joe Biden would have voted against them if he had been in the Senate. Or he confused Joe Biden with Rand Paul, the only Senator other than Wilmer to vote against them. Easy mistake to make.

  33. 33
    Lit3Bolt says:

    If Russia has a hand in your ass…

    …you might be a puppet.

  34. 34
    Josie says:

    @J R in WV:

    I wish that the MSM would cover this puppet as thoroughly as you just have. Bravo.

  35. 35
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @J R in WV:

    (a) loved Soviet Russia so much when he went there for his honeymoon
    (b) or was totally compromised by things that happened during that honeymoon,
    (c) was thus owned by the Soviet KGB until
    (d) after the fall of the Soviet State was then totally owned by the FSB and/or GRU of the new Russian “democracy”
    (e) received millions of rubles = dollars in tiny contributions from Russian Internet fictitious persons, under $27, which are not reported at the same level of detail as $2,000 donations.

    (f)Sanders is a Communist, and Communist don’t care how many bodies of the rest us of they have to step over on their way to utopia.

  36. 36
    trnc says:

    What if Roger Stone’s defense gets us the unredacted Mueller Report?
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/roger-stone-asks-judge-to-dismiss-indictment-and-to-order-he-get-copy-of-full-mueller-report/2019/04/13/caea8a9c-5cc7-11e9-9625-01d48d50ef75_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.21c29a3226c7

    Spoiler: It won’t, but it’s funny to think about Pres Individual One’s reaction to this news.

  37. 37
    karen marie says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: This is a joke, right?

  38. 38
    Humdog says:

    May be a dead thread, but did Wilmer ever explain why he voted against Magnitsky and Deripaska?

  39. 39
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Barb 2:That is excellent. I voted for the primary!

  40. 40
    Juice Box says:

    @karen marie: Sanders is no longer a Communist. However, he has certainly at least flirted around the edge ofthe movement:

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2016/02/bernie-sanders-radical-past-would-haunt-him-in-a-general-election.html

  41. 41
    Miss Bianca says:

    @scav: hey, that dog looks amazingly like my Roxy!

  42. 42
    artem1s says:

    @J R in WV:

    But he has always avoided voting for Russian sanctions, always. He has always voted the way he would if his balls were in a jar in the basement of the Kremlin, in the tiny division of the FSB that keeps track of where the balls of owned people are kept in the closet for those items. The Russians can count on him to do what needs to be done for the Russian government.

    WE can’t count on him to vote for gun control after another miserable murder spree. We can’t count on him to vote to control pollution. We can’t count on him to support Democratic Party goals, or Democratic candidates, or to support the campaign of the person who won the actual elections to become the Party Nominee. No, none of that can be done.
    But the NRA can count on his support!v

    wonderful breakdown. I’m so grabbing this.

  43. 43
    Kathleen says:

    @Mr. Kite: Congrats! You drew the kinder gentler Sanders troll script today!

  44. 44
    Kathleen says:

    @hervevillechaizelounge: You are right. He then proceeded to blame Hillary for not doing anything about it.

  45. 45
    Bill Arnold says:

    @J R in WV:

    So, “Mr. Kite,” for your very first post ever on Balloon-Juice

    I appreciate the rant, but FWIW “Mr. Kite” has posted on this site starting in 2017/12 and seems reasonable on a spot check of a few posts.

  46. 46
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Damien: Close, but no cigarillo:

    Fuck Bernie Sanders!
    “But he’s the front runner!”
    So fuck him from behind – with a rusty chainsaw!

  47. 47
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Mr. Kite: Useful idiot Useless imbecile comes closer.

  48. 48
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Damien: When BS ends up in stir** they should put him on the bricklaying detail – since he’s spent his whole career as a mortar-forker

    ** Hey, a ghoul can dream, can’t he?

  49. 49
    trnc says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    FWIW “Mr. Kite” has posted on this site starting in 2017/12

    Thanks for posting that. I see the same thing happen from time to time on various blogs. In fact, I’ve almost posted comments like JR’s a couple of times before discovering the commentor was more sane than I thought from the one post.

    JR, having said that, you should keep that response handy for future comments. You’ll probably get to use it a lot in the next year.

  50. 50
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Mr. Knowitall (aka The Knucklehead Of The Frozen North) seems to make a lot of those mistakes when his mouth goes off half-cocked.

  51. 51
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Lit3Bolt: Maybe BS was just having his yearly Kremlinoscopy…

  52. 52
    J R in WV says:

    @karen marie:

    No, Karen, Bernie was a self-proclaimed Marxist when he decided to visit the Soviet Union for his honeymoon. No joke, just ask him, he will tell you.

    I could go into a long description of the difference between Marxism and socialism, but that would be boring. I don’t have the patience to write it, and you don’t have the patience to read it.

  53. 53
    Bill Arnold says:

    @trnc:

    In fact, I’ve almost posted comments like JR’s a couple of times before discovering the commentor was more sane than I thought from the one post.

    Likewise. It’s also worth checking any assumptions; confirmation bias is a weakness for human brains; we easily believe things that fit smoothly into our existing belief structures.

  54. 54
    J R in WV says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Well, my Google-fu didn’t show any results, probably I mis-spelled Balloon or something hard like that… in my lame defense, it was like 4 am, I’m lucky to be able to type the password at that time of day/night.

    Sorry, Mr. Kite, to accuse you of being a first time troll…

  55. 55
    Mart says:

    @J R in WV: BS honeymoon video https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4Spg9l0SnSM. I am OK with my primary vote for him in MO where he had no chance against Clinton. Believe he helped make it OK for Dems to move left of center right “Bill Clinton triangulation”. But now he is too old and too tied to Russia, so fuck em.

  56. 56
    James E Powell says:

    One thing I still don’t understand is why the Russians were so averse to Hillary Clinton?

  57. 57
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @James E Powell: isn’t it that she was Secretary of State when Putin schemed his return to power after Medvedev?

  58. 58
    GeoWHayduke says:

    I primaried for him, but his holdout supporters are largely a bunch of morons. I like Pete, Kamala, Booker, and Joe before Bernie. Fucking guy.

  59. 59
    GeoWHayduke says:

    @James E Powell: fear of another strong US president.

  60. 60
    Freemark says:

    @J R in WV: @J R in WV: Your post is so over the top and ridiculous are you sure you aren’t the Russian bot trying to increase dissension among non-crazy people. Seriously you do a disservice being that extreme assuming you aren’t a bot or a paid propagandist typing from Voronezh.

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