You’ve got to hand it to CNN. Although they’ve been doing some surprising things lately including Jake Tapper admitting “Trump was right, Biden was wrong,” without his tongue snapping off its roller or melting down on air, they tend to always fall back to form. 

They did that again with a new story raising concerns about “Russia, Russia, Russia” trying to influence U.S. citizens.

US intelligence agencies believe that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) is attempting to influence public policy and public opinion in the West by directing Russian civilians to build relationships with influential US and Western individuals and then disseminate narratives that support Kremlin objectives, obscuring the FSB’s role through layers of ostensibly independent actors. 

“These influence operations are designed to be deliberately small scale, the overall goal being US [and] Western persons presenting these ideas, seemingly organic,” a US official authorized to discuss the material told CNN. “The co-optee influence operations are built primarily on personal relationships … they build trust with them and then they can leverage that to covertly push the FSB’s agenda.”

They pointed to reports including a story from OANN that included claims that the White Helmets in Syria faked chemical attacks by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, running a market for human organs. But the reporter said he stood by his reporting and didn’t use Russian sources.

Interesting timing, given that former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin just laid out more information against Joe Biden and further blew up Biden’s false narrative about his firing. 

But if they hoped this report would distract or deflect from that, I wouldn’t bet on it. The House isn’t going to turn away from the investigation and the American people aren’t going to be distracted so easily. 

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It’s also interesting this is coming right as the election season is heating up. 

Maybe CNN could write about it in a letter and 51 former intelligence officials could sign it and talk about the Russian disinformation? It seems intriguing that, as we talk about the election, suddenly the “disinformation” claims seem to be ramping up again. I expect more of this to come down the pike. 

The bottom line is that there’s nothing at all new about Russia trying to influence Americans; it’s been happening for decades and they were usually involved in trying to influence people on the left. What was different over the past several years was the Democrats pushing Russia collusion, trying to influence the government and the media against their political opponent, Donald Trump. 

But while CNN was willing to throw any nonsensical Russia collusion story out there, it’s funny that they don’t seem to be highlighting things like the $3.5 million that went from Yelena Baturina — the wealthy wife of the former Mayor of Moscow — into an account associated with Hunter Biden. Why isn’t CNN highlighting that and asking where that possible influence might have led? Somehow I’m not seeing that. 

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