Just last month, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats warned that Russia would indeed be trying to interfere with the upcoming midterm election, commenting:
“We continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to try to weaken and divide the United States. The President has specifically directed us to make the matter of election meddling and securing our election process a top priority.”
But we now know that not only is Russia working to sow discord as the November election draws closer, they’re also using social media to actively support the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Twitter has been lighting up over the past 24 hours, and Hamilton 68 — which tracks Russian influence operations online — notes that Kavanaugh’s name appears prominently in several of the top hashtags:
— Dustin Volz (@dnvolz) September 28, 2018
Hamilton 68 is a project of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, and they’ve also noticed that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — who went nuclear Thursday during the testimony of Judge Kavanaugh and attacked his Democratic colleagues — is suddenly receiving lots of mentions on social media, too:
What does this all mean? Does Russia actually care who gets appointed to the Supreme Court? They might, especially since Kavanaugh has taken a very expansive view of how far presidential powers reach and could be willing to protect Trump from Special Counsel Robert Mueller if the issue comes before the high court.
And even if the Russians don’t care who winds up on the court, they do want to see the United States divided and at war with itself. That accomplishes their goal of destroying us without firing a shot, as Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev once threatened.
The larger issue, however, is the fact that Donald Trump seems to have cast his lot with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in order to win the 2016 election. And now he has no choice but to do whatever Putin demands of him. That alone makes this president a national security threat the likes of which we have never seen in this country.