Several anti-immigrant messages with an explicit pro-Trump slant are included among the 3,000 pieces of Russian-linked political content Facebook plans to turn over to Congressional investigators, ABC News has learned.
Posts that circulated to a targeted, swing-state audience on the social media site railed against illegal immigrants and claimed “the only viable option is to elect Trump.” They were shared by what looked like a grassroots American group called Secured Borders, but Congressional investigators say the group is actually a Russian fabrication designed to influence American voters during and after the presidential election.
“Their goal was to spread dissension, was to split our country apart, and they did a pretty good job,” said Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Facebook told Congressional investigators about a series of posts from a group calling itself “Secured Borders,” which had the look of a grassroots American, anti-immigrant organization. Many of the group’s posts, retrieved from online archives by ABC News, include pointed, pro-Trump messages.
“How dare they accuse Donald Trump of racism and sexism just because he’s concerned about the well-being of Americans??” read one using an image of actor Jack Nicholson, dated Oct. 19. “If wanting to remove criminal alien scum from our streets is raciest and deplorable, then by all means count me in that basket!”
“Good Lord, we really need that wall,” read another using an image of popular children’s cartoon Dora the Explorer, dated Oct. 22. “We need to stop this madness. We need Trump.”
The posts didn’t stop following Trump’s victory, with one from December using an image of Trump dressed as Santa Claus saying “Remember about this stupid PC idea to forbid people from saying ‘Merry Christmas’, instead forcing them to say ‘happy holidays’. … I say come Christmas 2017, a YUGE Nativity scene should occupy the lawn of 1600 Penn Ave!”
Earlier this month, Facebook revealed that it sold more than $100,000 worth of political ads to fake accounts the company told Congressional investigators were linked to the Russian…