FBI Director James Comey went on the record Monday to say an investigation into possible Russian influence in the U.S. presidential election is underway.
…and that probe reportedly includes a look into whether far-right websites played a role in contributing to that interference, according to McClatchy.com.
Citing the now-standard anonymous sources “familiar with the inquiry,” the article said the FBI is investigating whether Russian operatives used far-right news sites to help spread stories, “some fictional,” favorable to Donald Trump’s bid for the White House.
An effort that allegedly produced “millions” of social media posts.
More from McClatchy:
Operatives for Russia appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as “bots,” to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton, these sources said.
The bots’ end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News, the sources said. Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the bot attacks are part of an FBI-led investigation into a multifaceted Russian operation to influence last year’s elections.
Adding to the narrative on the left that Russia helped elect Trump, an anonymous U.S. intelligence official suggested the electronic broadside may be of historic proportions.
“This may be one of the most impactful information operations in the history of intelligence,” the official told McClatchy.
There was plenty of skepticism of the claim on social media… here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:
@thehill Censorship is of course where this is heading. Biased liberal fake news media wants to crush independent media.
— MAGICAL NINJA (@MagicMetalNinja) March 21, 2017
— Elizabeth Ferrari (@48thAve) March 21, 2017
@thehill Keep the shiny object going
— Mike Miller (@Miller41866) March 21, 2017
— BitchinRedhead (@fityshadesofred) March 21, 2017
@thehill More smoke and mirrors.
— Joe Lopez (@joelopez313) March 21, 2017
— Captain Obvious (@theGfunk) March 21, 2017
@thehill Go after free press and free speech. That’s where this is going.
— Love&Happiness (@freedom4all117) March 21, 2017
@thehill Yet there’s still no proof of said Russian election hacking but okay✋??
— Tania Hernandez (@tantangerine_) March 21, 2017
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