Roy Moore, Jonathan Morgan, Rene Terresa discussed on On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts

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He joins us from Baltimore. Scott. Welcome to the program. Mega. So first of all tell us a little bit more about what you reported about what this group of democratic operatives attempted to do in the Alabama special election using social media techniques. What did they try to do? Well, I have to say that the people who did this were not eager to talk about it. And so I'm not sure we have every detail, but essentially they deliberately experimented with what you might call the Russian techniques on social media, one of the things they did was they created a conservative page though. They were not conservatives oriented to are designed to attract conservatives in Alabama, and they use that among other things to try to split the Republican electorate. They also use it to communicate with a write in candidate whose candidacy they supported with the idea of drawing votes away from the Republican ROY Moore in the draining votes from him. And that was that was you know, certainly, a a fraud Yellen move in the sense that they were pulling. Considered and they weren't considered. And then something that remains a little murkier. But they in a report that obtained about this operation, they they describe it as an elaborate false flag operation that planted. The idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnets, essentially, there were bunch of stories in the mainstream press saying, jeez, there's all these Russians who were following ROY Moore on Twitter, and you know, it was sort of embarrassment for the Moore campaign. And they said maybe it was a dirty trick. And no one really knew what where this came from. And we don't know exactly what was done whether these operators actually purchased as one can do, you know sensually Twitter account since know sent them after ROY Moore or how exactly work, but in any case they seem to have done something to try to discredit the Moore camp. Pain on Twitter. Okay. So now to be clear one as your reporting one of the participants in this. What hundred thousand dollars democratic peration was Jonathan Morgan that chief executive of new knowledge, and and destroy mind. Folks. Get new knowledge is the firm that wrote one of these reports that was just submitted to the Senate intelligence committee about Russian interference or Russian use of social media. So let me ask you the reason why we definitely wanted to talk to you today's as I as I mentioned at the beginning, we spoke with Rene duress STA who's with new knowledge now, and you talk to her as well, even though she didn't work for the company at the time in two thousand seventeen what role does she have to play in the story. Let me make a couple things clear. One thing is as far as we can tell the democratic campaign. Doug Jones campaign knew nothing about this and had no role in it. And literally learned learned about it in the last couple of days when we started calling them. So they had nothing to do with it. And according to Jonathan Morgan the CEO of New Jersey point out new knowledge as a company had nothing to do with it. This was sort of a side project that he participated in and early on he asked Rene Terresa, essentially for advice on this. And according to both of them, he called her up and said, hey, we want a sort of doing experiment where we test out some of these sort of Russian style, techniques and try to understand them better. What are what are the some of the things we we could do what are some of the things you can do on social media that we might sort of do intest and the and and he describes this as sort of? Academic exercise. And she she claims that she was not paid for it. And and really was just sort of a very early consultant in this process. Well, any quoted as saying that there were people who believe the Democrats needed to fight fire with fire and that she disagreed with that. But but I'm just we have like thirty seconds here to go. I just one less thing. I mean, so this is quite an eye opening report piece of reporting from you. It is a little jarring to hear some of these Democrats say this is like an academic exercise..

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