Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) believes that Russian operatives “aligned with Donald Trump” have been replying to her Twitter posts. After living with her suspicions for “some time,” the congresswoman is now asking Twitter to provide information on the accounts she says are linked to Russia.
On Thursday, Waters wrote her request to Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey, looking for the “total number of accounts linked to Russia that ever mentioned” her name. She also wanted to know the number of times those tweets were retweeted.
“I have often noticed that every time I tweeted about Trump and Russia, dozens of strange accounts would immediately tweet various lies and falsehoods that fringe alt-right websites would subsequently use as a basis to write fake news stories,” Waters wrote.
Although she has never discussed her suspicions publicly, her concerns about being targeted are not new.
“I have been aware for some time that I was targeted by Russian operatives whose interests were aligned with Donald Trump,” Waters stated.
An outspoken critic, Waters is often seen in the media discussing her desire to impeach the president, linking him with Russian collusion, or formulating new plans to “take him out” (see video below).
She warns Americans that they may also be “vulnerable to this type of foreign disruption,” and that fake accounts belonging to Russian internet trolls really exist. Waters pointed out a specific instance of this in Tennessee.
Twitter account @TEN_GOP claimed it officially represented the Tennessee Republican Party, but it was actually being run by Russian internet trolls. The State’s Republican board notified Twitter immediately. However, it took the social media site almost a year to close it down.
According to Waters, @TEN_GOP targeted her, posting an “#Impeach Maxine Waters” hashtag message earlier this year. The congresswoman said the message was coordinated with “large, elaborate posters” being displayed outside a town hall venue she was attending. She believes the “disrupters” were likely “given the financial resources and assistance necessary to carry out their campaign of disruption.”
The lawmaker continued, “It is for this reason that I am now calling upon Twitter to provide detailed information regarding all Russian-linked accounts that targeted me and my congressional district.”
Waters seems to be concerned about efforts meant to undermine her re-election campaign. While she thinks “free-flowing political discourse” is a “bedrock” of American democracy, foreign “propaganda disguised as discourse” could prove detrimental to that foundation, she said.
“Full and open transparency on the part of social media companies like Twitter can help to combat this foreign threat. I, therefore, urge Twitter and other social media companies to provide that transparency to the American people,” Waters wrote.
Earlier in the week, Waters was on CNN answering questions about a statement she made, in which she said information she was given made her feel empowered to “take Trump out.” In an interview with CNN, Waters said she never meant anything violent by her remark, and that as a grandmother and long-time political servant, she would never threaten harm.
She intended only to state again that she is ready to get the president impeached, even though “white nationals” and the “KKK” – angered by her “front line” efforts at impeachment – are rounding up supporters to help bring about her defeat in the next election.
You may watch the interview in the video below.
Waters defends her “take Trump out” comment: “The only harm I may be doing to the President is I want him impeached” https://t.co/0vmTAHGa7Y
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 24, 2017