Russia and Donald Trump: interesting tweets

by Chris Zappone

Updated 3 April 2016: This isn’t only a tweet but it concerns someone claiming to be from a former Soviet Republic, who is apparently publishing misinformation about Donald Trump. The misinformation is then picked up in the rightwing blogosphere and by Donald Trump himself.

ThirdBasePolitics, in the US, has a decent little write up on the strange non-factual work of someone named Dmitri Voltava.

Updated 18 March 2016: The previous post discusses the changing character of the culture of the internet and what it would mean for the US. Here are a couple interesting tweets regarding Russian trolls and US politics. I’ll update them when I can.

One is from US expert on anti-government extremism JJ MacNab.

She says her book, to be released in June, will discuss this in depth.

A second tweet comes from UK-based researcher Eliot Higgins, of Bellingcat fame, who notes in passing the overlap between Putin and Assad supporters and fans of Donald J Trump, the authoritarian billionaire Republican candidate in the US.

The big question of course, is which way the influence runs? Is it a fondness for Trump from foreign fans based on a similar taste in political attitudes emerging in the US? Or do Trump’s pro-Putin supporters lend the US candidate more weight in cyberspace, which has an effect on perceptions in the US election? – And if so, could that be the purpose of the cyber chorus of support?

It’s not clear. But given the changing nature of the internet, it’s worth watching. I will add more tweets here, if I see them.

18 March 2016

Trump releases an ad that leads with footage from Russian propaganda network RT. It mocks Hillary Clinton while describing Russian president Vladimir Putin as one of America’s “toughest opponents.”

A very strange thing about Trump: when he talks about Japan, it’s like he’s speaking in the 1980s. But with Russia, there is no 1980s hangover. Putin, he unabashedly admires and respects. He calls him an opponent. But not a 1980s style ideological foe.

Apparently, the Russians weren’t amused by the ad. Or at least they said they weren’t. Curiously, at the time of the this writing (18 March 2016) there was absolutely nothing about it on RT or Sputnik.