According to McClatchyDC the FBI is probing whether “right-wing” news sites played a criminal role in a Russian cyber operation
(VERO BEACH, FLA) On Monday two sources who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Washington bureau of news organization McClatchyDC that the FBI is investigating whether conservative news websites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars contributed to a Russian led interference of election 2016.
The probe, according to McClatchyDC, is focused on discovering whether Russian operatives used conservative media outlets to help spread information which ultimately favored the now-President Donald Trump.
“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,” McClatchyDC wrote quoting their sources.
“Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction,” the sources told McClatchyDC. “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.”
McClatchyDC said the investigation of Russian bot-engineered traffic appears to be in its “early stages”, and is being headed by the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.
McClatchyDC noted in their report that the participation of the mentioned news outlets was not actually necessary for these ‘bots’ to successfully amplify and spread news through social media, and that the FBI Counterintelligence Division’s investigations rarely result in criminal charges.
The FBI’s Counterintelligence Division “main task has been to reconstruct the nature of the Kremlin’s cyber attack and determine ways to prevent another,” McClatchy reported.
Conservative radio host Michael Savage claimed on his Monday program that he was also included on the FBI’s inquiry list.