Russian Troll Trickery
Computer Trolls sitting at table. As many as 1,000 Russian trolls fed misinformation to Bernie Sanders supporters during the 2016 Election. Business vector created by

Bernie Sanders Supporters Fell Victim To Russian Trolls Attacking Our Democracy as "Feel The Bern" Enjoyed Their Money During 2016 Presidential Elections.

As it turns out, Hillary Clinton supporters were dead right with their views and decisions not to feel the bern of Bernie Sanders, his campaign, or his diehard supporter wrath and in fact appear to have been the only ones who saw right through the Russian trolls interfering with the 2016 election. These trolls were noticed by many Clinton fans well before Russian interference was spotted and revealed by the intelligence community and in fact Clinton supporters were alerting one another and warning Sanders fans what was afoot prior to terms such as "misinformation" and "fake news" becoming a thing in mainstream America.

Evidence of how Vladimir Putin utilized Russian hackers, trolls, spies and other assets against the United States continues to gather at a snail’s pace as the accumulation of drip, drip, drip data informs American citizens and the world just how Putin’s document dumps and misinformation campaign attacks worked to undermine U.S. democracy. With that said, however, an aspect of Putin’s election interference that is seeping its way to the surface at an even slower pace is the fact that Russian election interference was not limited to the general election but played out in the Republican and Democratic primaries as well. The Democratic primary will be addressed herein.

Although investigators presumably still have plenty of leg work to travel en route to reaching the length of the avenues and the applied techniques Russia used while interfering in U.S. elections, reports regarding said election’s primary season that had been virtually ignored over the last several months have recently gained a little more traction. These slowly surfacing reports are helping to unfold how Russian influence infiltrated Bernie Sanders’ supporters via social media sites in efforts to discredit Hillary Clinton, her chances to win the Democratic nomination, and continued to discredit her candidacy once she beat out Bernie Sanders. This Russian interference was forged, at least in part, with intentions to help hurl Donald Trump across the finish line. What may come as an even tougher pill to swallow for many of Sanders fans, however, is the means in which Sanders [perhaps unknowingly] allowed Russian propaganda to influence U.S. democracy in a manner that simultaneously assisted his cause and allowed him, his family, and his cohorts to earn millions of dollars from his supporters!

Bernie Sanders began his 2016 presidential campaign bid by seeking nomination in the Democratic Party despite his lifelong membership as an Independent. Sure it is true that Sanders usually caucused with senate democrats but his record shows that he often failed to vote on issues bearing importance to that party. What’s more is that wherein he tended to represent himself to his followers as a non-establishment sort of grassroots kind of guy and was able to get away with this claim in part due to the thousands of $27 contributions fans made to his campaign, many of his supporters held so tightly to his touting that success that they completely ignored the fact that Sanders was on record stating he would take Super Pac money if the small donations failed to keep his ‘movement’ afloat. This is in spite of his continual criticism of Super Pacs. Sanders, in fact, stated himself that his main purposes for running as a Democrat increased his chances of raising lots of money.

Another method Sanders utilized during his presidential run that maintained his ability to keep his fans engaged was promising them a political revolution. This was a key phrase and tactic that gave way for many young voters, particularly millennials, to follow Sanders. The words themselves were devised to assure his voters they were going to accomplish a magnanimous goal of revolutionary proportions if they sent him their money, campaigned on his behalf, and voted for his cause. Quite frankly, it is the opinion of this writer as well as countless others that Sanders’ goal was to brainwash his followers similar to what Donald Trump did with his fans accept on the opposite side of the political spectrum. Anyone taking issue with use of the term "brainwash" should feel free to insert any similar word he or she pleases. But whether referring to brainwashing as influencing, persuading, conditioning or any other term, they all lead to the same result which amounts to diehard, closed-minded support.

Why closed-mindedness mattered. voting 3rd party

Atop the list of most sad and unsettling disappointments sits the fact that while Sanders supporters were busy as bees following his lead, volunteering at his offices, making signs and phone calls, and monetizing his campaign; many of his cohorts were also and wrongly repeating right wing media attacks against Hillary Clinton’s campaign and trolling her supporters to degrade her personage whenever and wherever they could. What’s worse is that much of the offensive claims they were making against the Clinton camp was actually propaganda pushed by Russia! This practice was reported in as:
  1. 1...there existed an army of Russian bots who were weaponized to influence our election. Many of them took to various social media sites to discredit and disrupt Hillary Clinton's campaign and thus, energize potential Bernie Sanders supporters.

  2. 2. Knowing that Clinton had been a target of right-wing media smears for a quarter-century, all the bots had to do was plant this seed to potential Sanders supporters, many of whom had no experience in politics, to get them onboard with the Sanders campaign.
Unfortunately for the country, many of these folks, particularly the ones who labeled themselves titles such as ‘Forever Bernie’, ’Bernie Bros’, and ‘Never Hillary’ refused to accept that these propagandized attacks were happening even though Hillary Clinton supporters vigorously strove to enlighten them to the fact that Russian trolls were working hard to turn them against Clinton. These trolls left no stone unturned when it came to using persuasive measures to convince voters that Hillary was so flawed that they should hate and despise her forever––and by all means NEVER ever vote for her!! These tactics worked so well that voters actually fell in line to the point where some actually said they did hate Hillary and even if not voting for Donald Trump they would vote third party in hopes to split the Democratic Party and did not care if their actions led to helping Trump get elected. What’s more is that some of the brainwashed actually said they would vote for Trump. In these zombies' minds Hillary was so ‘establishment’ that their vision prevented them from viewing the fact that Trump, an establishment millionaire, would NEVER lead them to accomplishing the progressive agenda they claimed to be seeking––insisted they deserved!! [Sure, Trump claims to be a billionaire but that has never been proved and by now the entire world should be aware of how much he lies!]

Then there were campaign contributions and Hillary’s speeches [which were perfectly legal and she had a right to earn a living] that Sanders brainwashed his supporters into believing were the most horrible manner an accomplished woman of Hillary Clinton's stature should utilize to earn financial gains both for personal use and to finance her presidential campaign. These Sanders fallacies along with many other of his woes such as Hillary’s views on environment, climate change, oil intended pipelines, education costs, and Black incarceration, to name a few, were picked up by Russian trolls and used against Hillary along with DNC documents Russia hacked, accumulated, and eventually forwarded to WikiLeaks who in turn posted them online. The Sanders' clan, no doubt along with Russian troll assistance, made the documents themselves the issue rather than the fact that a foreign government was interfering with a U.S. election. It was as if these brainless wonders had no idea that political campaigns involved strategic planning of how to beat out opponents. It was as though their empty little minds never considered the fact that the Sanders and his staff had formulated strategies as well. Because, hello!! How could Sanders and his cohorts have made a plan?? Hacked emails disclosing their maneuvers were not posted online!

In attempt to help in countering unfair monetary {some call misogynistic} assaults against Hillary, her supporters tried to awaken Sanders fans so they would clearly see that the $27 dollar donations he was taking from them and bragging about simply did not add up when looking at his monthly contribution totals or Federal Exchange Committee (FEC) reports. Amazing to the point of disbelief was it that even the most outlandishly huge, unexpected, and unaccounted for $10,000,000 contribution that showed up on Sanders’ in June of 2015 FEC report tended to be ignored by his supporters when Clinton fans revealed this information. Mystery $10,000,000 Sanders Campaign Contribution. Mystery Ten Million Dollars
Sanders also received as many as 665 possible illegal donations from foreign contributors and more than 3,500 contributions in excess of legal maximums allowed per individual. But his fans turned blind eyes to these facts as well despite being led to the online documents laid out by the commission for the public to see. [Considering Russia's election interference, a great possibility exists that some info rejection came from those trolls. But even if so their adverse remarks were laid out on social media for all the world including Sanders fans to see and believe.] As a result of Sanders pulling the monetary wool over his supporters’ eyes:
  1. 3. …Sanders and Devine were able to successfully pocket millions of dollars all while claiming to be champions of the common man.
In regards to the other items cited above that Sanders fans abhorred, and trolls found means of insisting would be detrimental to voters’ needs, Hillary Clinton actually took reasonably progressive stances on each and every one. The fact of the matter, when all was said and done, Hillary Clinton had the most progressive platform any presidential nominee had ever laid out for voters to appreciate and to strive to implement.

Whether it was Sanders fans or Russian trolls dismissing discrepancies in Bernie’s financial records, naysayers tended to twist and turn the facts into negative attacks against Hillary, her team, and her supporters. Many of these unwarranted attacks were picked up by Donald Trump, his staff, and his supporters as well. What is more is that the Trump camp still continues (as of April 2017) to use this misinformation and what they call "alternate facts"against Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama despite the fact that *45 and his coup folks were declared victors, overtook the White House, and have gained undying support from Right Wing legislators.

As Russian trolls and the Sanders’ campaign continued to fool Bernie Bros and the rest of his blindsided advocates, Sanders used much of the financial contributions supporters allotted him to pay his wife, Jane Sanders, $1,000 according to one disbursement chart but one can only wonder exactly what may have been going on there when reviewing this article about the Sanders’ family enriching themselves off other people’s money! Also, take note that:

  • 1. Sanders keeps his financial holdings in Jane’s name.

  • 2. Sanders NEVER released his income tax returns á la Donald Trump.

  • 3. Sanders reportedly uses overseas tax havens to stash his cash!

  • Continue in next column...

    Moving right along note that, Manager Tad Devine received at least $10,000,000–– That’s 10 Million Dollars from the Sanders’ campaign. Some wonder if that is where the secret $10 million dollar contribution went. What's more is that $10 Mil may be in addition to the $810,211.44 received by Tad's company, Devine, Mulvey, Longabaugh, Incorporated. But hold on because it would be unfair to leave out Jeff Weaver's $9,903.94 during one month's report as well as other high salary earners (mostly male). And then there was that trip to Rome–– Remember the Sanders camp's trip to Rome?? The May 2016 trip wherein Sanders rented a private jet for himself and 10 family members... The trip during which Sanders hunted down Pope Francis while pretending to be having an important meeting with him. In a video, The Pope later made it clear that he had no favorites in the U.S. election and implied that any suggestions to the contrary were crazy! He also stated that his encounter with Sanders was merely a sign of good manners, "nothing more. Well that trip cost Sanders supporters over half a million dollars!! These funds were said to have been spent illegally on this non campaign event! Apparently, those finger-wagging-words Sanders loves to spiel about the rich getting richer is in part projection about himself!

    Finger Wagging Bernie Sanders.
    Now, with all the above said, the fact that Bernie and Jane Sanders bought themselves a nice little lakefront home at the end of his candidacy––which he extended till the very last possible moment in order to continue collecting those funds––well.…

    At any rate, once evidence became quite clear that Hillary Clinton would be the victor in winning the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders kept his campaign going using a claim he had made to keep campaigning till the end and traveling to every state as an excuse to continue collecting contributions. This move was completely out of the norm for presidential candidates and may very well have played a role in putting Trump in the White House. After all, while Bernie was staying in he also continued one of his nasty campaign narratives that the Democratic primaries were rigged and gave more fuel for Donald Trump and Russian trolls to use against Hillary Clinton and her supporters. This was despite the fact that the true rigging that was done during the 2016 presidential election primaries on the Democratic side involved the Sanders’ camp hacking Clinton’s database and stealing her voters’ data files!! Yes! Hillary Clinton’s camp had to deal with hacking from Russia AND from America i.e. Bernie Sanders!!
    1. 4. While Julian Assange's hacker group directly targeted the Clinton campaign, Sanders and his team not only avoided any cyberwarfare but also were able to benefit from the attacks in claiming they were victims of an alleged conspiracy against them. In fact, this played out nicely to the Sanders narrative that everyone was against them despite the fact that the [Sanders] campaign was found guilty of stealing data from the Clinton campaign ahead of the first primaries.
  • Sanders’ behavior, although described by some using terms such as “sexist”, “misogynistic” and “white male privileged”, in conjunction with Russian troll attacks continued to give pause for Berners to move to Hillary and lent way for Trump and third party candidates to lure voters to their camps––voters whom they otherwise would never have been able to reach. This resulted in Sanders causing party division rather than unity at a critical point during the presidential campaign. The importance in uniting a political party immediately after a nominee has been determined could never be stated too forcefully and Sanders failed to allow that early unification by continuing to fight Hillary while pretending to his his followers he could win the nomination and collecting their money.

    These facts and many more regarding the Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign are laid out beautifully at including the Sanders camp's direct Russian connections and the fact that the WikiLeaks initial drop of DNC emails strategically occurred three days prior to the convention in order to shake things up in the party and to further damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential run.

    Also, email hacking and financing were touched on in a report at
    1. “Two people with knowledge of a multi-agency investigation into the Kremlin’s meddling have told McClatchy that Mikhail Kalugin was under scrutiny when he departed. He has been an important figure in the inquiry into how Russia bankrolled the email hacking of top Democrats and took other measures to defeat Hillary Clinton and to help Donald Trump capture the White House, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.”
    At this point, it was clear that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee and that Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, simply wanted to shake things up and to make certain the two camps (Clinton’s and Sanders’) would have difficulty coming together––mainly that Bernie supporters would resist Hillary and hopefully fail to cast votes, or vote for a third party candidate, or better still as has recently become more and more clear from Vladimir Putin’s point of view, cast votes for Donald Trump. With that said, it must be noted here that one of those third party candidates, Jill Stein, also had some form of relationship with Vladimir Putin.

    Jill Stein (lower right) at Russian dinner party with President Vladimir Putin (slightly to Stein's left) and ousted Donald Trump's former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn (left of Putin fiddling with ear-piece).

    The bottom line here is that Hillary Clinton and her fans before her knew Russia was interfering in the 2016 presidential elections; and in fact, many of her online supporters realized some sort of attack was ongoing prior to the announcement by Hillary or by the intelligence community. Information to this fact was made available online by reputable sources months prior to Clinton’s October announcement to this fact. The media, Donald Trump, and anti-Hillary supporters refused to divulge and accept this Russian cyberattack despite the fact it was staring the United States of America right dead in the face. What’s more is that Bernie Sanders, who apparently was not subjected to Russian hacking, did little to inform his supporters what happened while he was still campaigning or after he accepted fate and finally started the unification process even though Hillary Clinton adopted many of his policy hopes into her campaign.

    This is my opinion and I'm sticking to it!!

    Hillary Clinton Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Speech A favorite Hillary Clinton Goldman Sachs speech promoting female entrepreneurs. See the entire clip here

    1. 2. 3. References
    Read more here: mcclatchydc

    Good info on voter suppression and Jill Stein Russia role/contacts part one here and part two here.

    Get more info on Tad Divine’s Russian connection and using campaigns to enrich himself here.

    The mystery money appears on a Schedule A-P filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by the Bernie 2016 presidential campaign committee with a receipt date of 30 June 2015. The report shows $10,465,912.39 in “Unitemized” receipts for the Primary election. (Transaction ID VPF7BEDRRH8E, page 9845.)

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