Kavanaugh is currently the #3 topic being discussed by accounts linked to Russian influence operations. And you can see how they're working both sides of the discussion: (#)ConfirmKavanaughNow is a top trending hashtag, while (#)WhyIDidntReport is a top hashtag overall... 3/
Ed Whelan worked with right-wing firm CRC Public Relations to stoke his half-baked Kavanaugh 'alibi' story.
CRC's current clients include the Federalist Society & the Judicial Crisis Network -- the chief outside groups working to help confirm Kavanaugh. politi.co/2MTtIDj
"It is unclear to what extent [Ed] Whelan was coordinating with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee & other Republicans on Capitol Hill. He was in communication with at least one Republican member of the committee this week.."
... yea so this is a pretty BFD.
"On Friday, hours after Whelan called his decision to name & post photographs of Kavanaugh’s high school classmate 'an appalling & inexcusable mistake of judgment,' CRC [PR firm] helped organize a news conference featuring an array of women who dismissed Ford’s allegations."
-The NYT story is based on sources who were *not* present during the conversations they're describing.
-A witness who *was* present disputes NYT's account & says Rosenstein was being sarcastic at the time.
-Rosenstein says NYT story is "inaccurate" & "factually incorrect." 1/
So the NYT's headline is based on the account of the sources who were *not* present and did *not* witness the conversations.
Meanwhile, Rosenstein's denial and the account of a source who *was* present and *did* witness the conversations are buried several paragraphs down. 2/
Also: NYT cites McCabe's notes as a source for the claims about Rosenstein. McCabe's notes were among the docs Trump ordered to be declassified before abruptly reversing course.
i.e., this could be a way to leak the 'damaging' info while keeping exculpatory info concealed. 3/
With all that has been said about the sexual assault accusations facing Brett Kavanaugh, the most profoundly disturbing is what he hasn't said. As a SCOTUS nominee, he is supposed to care about justice – yet he hasn't said a word about how the justice system fails SA victims. 1/
Kavanaugh has spent plenty of time defending himself — yet he hasn't uttered a word defending the millions of sexual assault victims who will never see justice in the system that he represents. 2/
Surely Kavanaugh knows that out of every 1,000 rapes, 994 perpetrators will walk free; that rapes are 6-7 less likely to lead to felony convictions or jail time than any other violent crime. Yet he has said nothing. Does he not see this as a problem? Or does he just not care? 3/
Y'all I'm right there w/ you on the skepticism about Flake, but here's the thing: We can use this to pressure other senators. (E.g., Do they really feel comfortable rushing thru a nomination? Flake doesn't. Why not postpone the vote? What's the rush? etc).
Be skeptical. We all should be. But strategize, too. Don't give Flake an out by writing him off immediately because he might just take the out you offer him. And other senators will almost surely watch it happen and do the same. So let's hold him to his word. Can't hurt, right?
You could even... call your senators & say: "Hey, I agree with Sen. Jeff Flake. I don't think we should rush through #Kavanaugh's nomination for a lifetime appointment. Why not #PostponeTheVote? Flake says he's not comfortable voting until he knows what he's voting for. Are you?"
There are many reasons that John Bolton's announcement that the US will no longer cooperate w/ the International Criminal Court is atrocious. Among those reasons: We're obliterating the primary mechanism for holding war criminals like Assad & Putin accountable.
Official Russian govt accounts are pushing a false narrative claiming that filming of a false flag attack has begun (likely a sign that Assad plans to use chemical weapons very soon), and of course they're looping the White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) into the conspiracy theory. 1/
All of Russia's international and US-focused propaganda channels are pushing the same false narrative. People are more likely to believe false information if they see it coming from multiple sources. (Below: Sputnik, RT, TASS, & Veterans Today). 2/
Russia is trying to preemptively discredit footage from the White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) by claiming that it's part of a staged false flag attack. Assad & Putin know the White Helmets will have evidence of death & suffering that they don't want the world to believe. 3/
A big part of the Russian-led disinformation campaign surrounding Syria is psychological warfare designed to condition people not to care when Russian/Syrian forces slaughter civilians. One of the main ways this is accomplished is by portraying those targeted as terrorists. 1/
These are just a few examples from this week. Right now, Assad & Putin are targeting #Idlib, which is home to 3 million people, many of whom fled to the province when they were forcibly displaced from their homes. Now they're all being portrayed as terrorists. 2/
Often, Russian govt officials will claim to have knowledge of some "terrorist" plot in the region being targeted, and they use that as an excuse to destroy entire towns and kill, injure and/or displace the civilians who live there. 3/
The narrative being pushed today by the Russian govt is that "terrorists" (or "jihadists") met w/ the White Helmets, a humanitarian org, to finalize a plot to stage a chemical weapons attack on...themselves.
Putin/Assad have made similar claims before launching a chem attack. 2/
Per usual, Russian propaganda channels promptly got to work spreading the disinformation peddled by Russian govt officials. (Important to remember that people are more likely to believe false claims when they hear them from multiple sources.) 3/
I have a few concerns about the #Anonymous White House official, as well as what they wrote in the New York Times. Putting aside their veracity/authenticity, they are basically saying that the solution to Trump's disregard for democratic norms is to ... disregard other norms. 1/
The 25th Amendment exists for a reason. If they think it needs to be invoked, it should be. I fail to see how invoking an amendment in the Constitution would provoke a Constitutional crisis. Turmoil? Yes. Uncertainty? Yes. Dysfunction? Quite possibly. But um, look around. 2/
You know what's not in the Constitution? A mechanism for a group of un-elected White House officials to secretly steer a headless government based on what they think is best. Do you want that to be the new normal? Do you trust a shadow government with your future? 3/
I've now read multiple accounts from people who've been told that many social media services in #Idlib are down. So we're seeing the full spectrum of authoritarian information control, from weaponized social media & mass disinformation campaigns, to cutting off comms entirely.
Given how far Assad has gone to cut off the flow of information (e.g., targeting & murdering journalists like Marie Colvin), I can't say I'm surprised to hear that many social media services are down. But it's important to consider the implications of that & what it means. 1/
If you notice an abundance of pictures/tweets/etc from #Idlib praising the Assad regime/"celebrating" the military and a lack of firsthand accounts detailing the death, destruction, & cruelty people are suffering at the hands of Russian/Syrian forces... well, now you know why. 2/
Russian warplanes are reportedly bombing #Idlib, a so-called "de-escalation zone" that is home to an estimated 2.9 million people, many of whom are living there because they were forcibly displaced from their homes elsewhere in Syria.
A few quick things to know... 1/
Russian/Syrian regime propaganda will claim that the bombing in #Idlib is only about terrorists. It will be framed as a (false) dichotomy: Either you support the bombing or you support terrorists. This is a wholly false and egregious campaign to whitewash a civilian massacre. 2/
Multiple international orgs have warned that an assault on #Idlib could result in the worst humanitarian crisis we have seen yet in Syria — catastrophic loss of life and massive #'s of both injured and displaced persons, which would exceed capacity to respond. 3/
With all signs indicating that the Assad regime, backed by Russia, is readying an imminent massacre, the ongoing smear campaign against the White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) is ramping back up. Network graph below reflects past 24 hours of activity on Twitter. 1/
Network graphs in this tweet & previous one reflect the most active accounts posting about the White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) in the past 24 hours. All are circulating the same few narratives accusing the White Helmets of being terrorists, kidnappers, murderers. 2/
As you can see from the last tweet here, accusations like these made by Beeley (who claims to have some pretty detailed knowledge of a chemical attack that hasn't happened yet...) typically evoke rage against the White Helmets ("destroy these animals"). That's not an accident. 3/
Some notable patterns right now on @SecureDemocracy's Hamilton 68 dashboard, which tracks accounts linked to Russian influence operations.
Syria is still dominating, but the death of pro-Russia separatist leader Alexander Zacharchenko is very quickly taking over the charts. 1/
On the one hand, Zacharchenko is a trending topic overall so at least some of this is an artifact of a larger trend. But worth keeping in mind that much of the content pushed by these accounts is Russian propaganda.
This is just an observation, not a conclusion, but it seems like that was a damn quick turnaround - i.e., within 12-ish hours of news that Zacharchenko was dead, the propaganda lines were not only produced and distributed, but already completely dominating on social media. 3/
BREAKING: The jury in Paul Manafort's trial has submitted a note to the judge, per @NBCNews. No word yet on the content of the note - could be a question or request, or could be notice that they've reached a verdict.
It was a question from the jury. No word yet on what they're asking, but it's not a verdict (yet).
Keep in mind that Scott Wagner made the comments on Friday -- after several weeks of reports about numerous Russian hacking & influence operations targeting the midterm elections (& Democratic candidates).
BREAKING: Microsoft has detected & seized websites created by Russian govt hackers targeting conservative US think tanks that have broken with Trump & are pushing for continued sanctions against Moscow, exposing oligarchs, or pressing for human rights. nyti.ms/2wdTbB7
"The shift to attacking conservative think tanks underscores the Russian intelligence agency’s goals: to disrupt any institutions challenging Moscow and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia."
The sites were designed to trick people into thinking they were on websites operated by the Hudson Institute & the International Republican Institute. Visitors to the sites were then secretly redirected to web pages created by the hackers to steal passwords and other credentials.
--> In at least 30 HOURS of interviews over the past 9 months, White House Counsel Don McGahn has shared detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the obstruction inquiry, including some that investigators would not have learned of otherwise. nyti.ms/2ONyPWZ
“A prosecutor would kill for that,” said Solomon L. Wisenberg, a deputy independent counsel in the Whitewater investigation. “Oh my God, it would have been phenomenally helpful to us. It would have been like having the keys to the kingdom.”
For all the conspiracy theorists out there: I'm flattered that you think I have such immense power that with a single tweet I can iinsta-ban someone from Twitter. FWIW, I would totally use it if I had that power, but alas... I don't.
(But it's fun that you think I do.)
No, Caitlan, I didn't call in my deep-state Twitter squad to get you banned.
But, um, are you really using your Facebook account to send your twitter followers after me? Also, stop lying. It looks ugly on you.
I'm guessing it was the death wishes that got you banned, Caitlan.