Oh Look, Russian Bots Are Attacking Republicans, Too

Republicans know that Russia is cyber-meddling in American politics, but so far they’ve kept their criticisms to a minimum because these actions have benefited President Donald Trump. Now, though, the GOP is finally starting to change its tune on how detrimental these attacks can be.

Alas, it’s not because Republicans have come to their senses or see that standing up for democracy includes preventing foreign cyber-attacks on their political opponents. No, it’s because, as Newsweek reports, Russian Twitter bots are now turning on Republican politicians as well.

One of the most notable victims is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. This week, bots boosted the hashtag #ResignPaulRyan by more than 1200 percent. The attack “coincidentally” comes on the heels of Ryan encouraging Republicans in the House to strengthen sanctions against Russia.

In the other half of Congress, the leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell isn’t fairing any better. By Wednesday, the hashtag #DitchMitch had shot up 8000 percent among Russian bots. This surge corresponds with McConnell lightly criticizing the Trump administration for having “excessive expectations” about how the democratic process works.

Then there’s the campaign to smear National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who recently fired some pro-Russia National Security officials that had previously been added by the problematic Michael Flynn. Predictably, the Kremlin does not like having someone like him in power, so they got the hashtag #FireMcMaster trending with the help of thousands of bots.

They may be fake accounts, but they can still have real consequences for the politicians. Far right websites like Breitbart saw the topic trending and wrote articles about pressure being applied to Trump to can McMaster – leaving out the fact that it was a coordinated attack by foreign internet users. Meanwhile, real Trump supporters who have followed these fake accounts due to mutual interest think they should start attacking McMaster, as well.

Let’s not forget the president himself has retweeted fake Twitter accounts, so for all we know, Russia could be tricking him into thinking that conservative hate for McMaster (and McConnell and Ryan) is substantial. Remember that Russian trolls have helped to exaggerate Trump’s popularity on social media – almost a full half of Trump’s Twitter followers have been found to be either spam or phony accounts.

The bottom line is that Russia is not a friend of the Republican Party. It seems like most Republicans outside of the Trump administration are already aware of that fact, but now is the time to stop pretending they don’t see what’s going on, because Republicans are just as vulnerable to these attacks.

Whether the Kremlin is backing the Trump administration because of nefarious, backroom agreements meant to benefit Russia or just because installing an unstable leader like Trump knocks the U.S. down a few pegs while increasing Russia’s own standing in the world, what is clear is that Putin is trying to disrupt us at some level, and those who stand up for America’s institutions will be targeted next.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

49 comments

Margie FOURIE
Margie FOURIE2 months ago

Thank you

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Brian F
Brian F3 months ago

So what Rhoberta E, two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because that crook GW Bush got money for speeches doesn’t justify Hillary or Obama getting money for speeches. Honest people like Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders didn’t get money for speeches unlike the corporate Democratic crooks you defend like Hillary, Obama, and Bill Clinton. I voted for Hillary because I had no choice after the Democrats cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E3 months ago

6 /10 posts from our very own C2 BOT. !!! Mostly whining about how much money th made for speaking engagements.
Bush charged $100,000 to $175,000 for HIS speeches between 2009 -2015 and he did 200 paid speeches.
brian f voted FOR Ms. Clinton but now wants you to think otherwise.
Stay tuned, brian WILL post the same information jus in case you haven't read it the last 1000 plus times

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Brian F
Brian F3 months ago

Mike K I’m not defending everything in his book, but the fact is that Bill Clinton took $500,000 for a speech from the Kremlin. Stop trying to blame Russia for your crook Hillary causing this fraud Trump to win. Corporations own both corrupt parties, and you need to stop defending the corruption in the Democratic party, or we will have this fraud Trump for 8 years instead of just 4, because people won’t vote for a corrupt Democratic party. The Democrats cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary and lied about the Nevada convention by falsely claiming Bernie Sanders supporters threw chairs. Disgraced liars Donna Brazille passed debate questions to Hillary, and Debbie Wasserman Shultz scheduled the debates to favor Hillary. The Wikileaks e-mails proved Hillary was a liar with close ties to Wall Street for the 21 million they paid her for speeches. Get over it.

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Mike Kelly
Mike Kelly3 months ago

Brian F. now quotes a book, the author of which, was paid three quarters of a million dollars by Steve Bannon's Breitbart to smear Hillary Clinton.

Comrade Brainski, There was one core difference between the two candidates in the 2016 election: One is a fascist and one is not a fascist.

No amount of your whining about "Bill Clinton takes money for speeches" will change that basic fact, Comrade Brianski, tell your Kremlin handlers you need some new material.

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/irs-bannon-paid-himself-non-profit

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Brian F
Brian F3 months ago

Mike, Your crook and liar Hillary is so corrupt that Republicans voted for her, because they would make more money if she was elected. This proves you’re a corporate fake Democrat.
http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Top-Republicans-voting-Hillary-Clinton-Trump-9284182.php

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Brian F
Brian F3 months ago

Mike your Democratic corporate establishment crook Chuck Schumer was at a rich person’s party at the Hamptons along with Kellyanne Conway who was also were there. So were Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Ronald Lauder, Carl Icahn, Joel Klein, Cathie Black, reporters Steve Clemons and Maria Bartiromo, columnists Richard Cohen and Margaret Carlson, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Ray Kelly, Bill Bratton and Steven Spielberg. Now why would a Democrat like Chuck Schummer go to a party with wealthy Trump supporters? Ah Mike you got schooled again. Corporations own both corrupt parties, and most of the Democratic crooks you support like Nancy Pelosi who is worth 100 million dollars refuses to support single payer universal healthcare, because she’s bought and paid for by big pharma and our criminal healthcare industry like the Republicans. Poor Mike K. Care2 can clearly see what a sellout and fake corporate Democrat you are, who defends corrupt corporate Democrats like Hillary, who is so corrupt that Republicans even voted for her, because they would make more money if she was elected.
http://nypost.com/2017/07/10/why-ordinary-americans-hold-politicians-and-media-in-contempt-all-in-one-hamptons-party/

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Mike K
Mike Kelly3 months ago

Poor, poor Brianski F. He's soooo upset that Care2 can now see that he's a fake, pretending to be Progressive while using Breitbart paid authors as sources.

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/irs-bannon-paid-himself-non-profit

Bye bye, Brianski. No one's buying your blather.

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Mike K
Mike Kelly3 months ago

The book that Brian F. purports to show that the Clinton's are crooked was written by:

"Peter Schweizer, an at-large editor for Breitbart, was paid $778,000 by GAI between 2012 and 2015 as he researched and wrote “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.” - Alternet.

Brian F, the fake-ass Progressive finally comes out of the Russian bot closet and into the daylight. Hello, comrade Brianski.

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/irs-bannon-paid-himself-non-profit

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E3 months ago

Any members who HAVEN'T seen the information posted ( 6 / 10 times just on this page alone) by our own special BOT (at least 100 times), please raise your hands. NONE RAISED !!!!

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