Russian operatives actively sought to inflame American discord during Brett Kavanaugh’s contentious Supreme Court confirmation process, the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Thursday.
Speaking before the Open Markets Institute, a progressive think-tank in Washington, Democratic Senator Mark Warner said that he believed the most incendiary online content regarding Kavanaugh over the last few weeks was likely manufactured to sow political strife. There is no concrete evidence to corroborate that exact claim, but a software system monitoring Russian-linked social media accounts found that they were, in fact, working to “amplify pre-existing narratives,” most of which backed Kavanaugh’s defense against allegations of sexual assault.
“I think that we will discover that a large amount of … the real, heinous, over-the-top vitriol was not generated by actual American discontent but was generated by foreign bot activity,” Warner said.
The Virginia lawmaker cited the German Marshall Fund, a non-partisan think-tank focused on US- European relations, which has been monitoring Russian accounts. Warner said he would call for a report from the full intelligence community to assess Russian attempts to accentuate the country’s divisions over President Trump’s Supreme Court pick.