In his remarks, made in a Facebook Live post from his personal account, Zuckerberg said the company “recently uncovered this activity” and began cooperating with investigators looking at Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
“We are actively working with the US government on its ongoing investigations into Russian interference,” Zuckerberg said. “We have been investigating this for many months, and for a while we had found no evidence of fake accounts linked to Russia running ads. When we recently uncovered this activity, we provided that information to the special counsel. We also briefed Congress, and this morning I directed our team to provide the ads we’ve found to Congress as well.”
ABC News has learned that Zuckerberg called Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va, Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, personally on Thursday to tell him of the company’s decision to offer more information to Congress.
The company conducted an inquiry into Russian election meddling in the spring but did not release its findings, raising concerns among leaders in the House and Senate that the social media giant was withholding information that could help them in the multiple ongoing investigations, according to the Washington Post.
In a recent interview with ABC News, Sen. Warner said Facebook initially denied to Congress that they had posted any ads paid by the Russians.
“When I raised these issues last winter, [they said] couldn’t happen and they privately said, you know, ‘Those are crazy ideas,’” Warner said. “Well, they weren’t crazy ideas.”
Warner was critical of Facebook’s efforts to account for Russian ads bought during the campaign, pointing out that the company’s initial report to Congress only covered ads purchased in Russian currency.
“There were lots of reports of [activity coming from] Albanian, Macedonia, Moldavia — areas where there are some of these troll factories that were at least indirectly controlled by Russia,” Warner said. “I don’t believe they looked at any of that.”
Russian companies spent more than $100,000 on the ads seen by millions of Americans, many of them praising Donald Trump attacked Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who mentioned the issue in an appearance on “The Late…