And now comes the news that Facebook has finally acknowledged -- after many months of investigative reporters insisting that Russia had to have been using the site during the election for literally fake news -- that Russia had been using the site during the election for literally fake news.
It was a late-breaking story, and the coverage has been intense about how Facebook officials have turned over material to all the investigations, including the Special Counsel. And about how this is a major turn in the investigation. But there is one other big thing about this news that didn't get mentioned by anyone I've heard or read.
For the past year, Trump has been denying reports from all the intelligence services that Russia took actions to influence the elections. But now Facebook -- which has nothing to gain by it's acknowledgement after months of denial, and great embarrassment -- itself admits it was used by Russia to influence the election. In a sane, rational world it would therefore be close to impossible ("close to" being used here out of courtesy...) for Trump to now continue denying Russia's involvement.
Now, yes, I understand that with Trump this is not a sane, rational world. And I doubt he will accept reality. But such a continued denial will just further erode his landsliding base. And I would dearly love that question asked to him or his press secretary. Because I would love to hear what answer they come up with, as to why Facebook's admission of it being subverted by Russian intelligence doesn't mean mean Russia was trying to influence the election.
I suppose they could always agree, since not doing so is just too problematic. And I suppose pigs could fly. But if they do finally acknowledge what Facebook admits about Russian involvement, it causes them their ultimate problem -- if they admit Russia was involved, they have to support the investigations fully.
Rock, meet hard place.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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