For all their denunciations of ‘fake news,’ the current administration has become a leading purveyor of it
The threat to the West posed by Kremlin lies—what is properly termed disinformation—is something that I and a few other specialists have raised the alarm over for years. After 2016, when Moscow weaponized disinformation to influence our presidential election, this problem is finally getting the public attention it merits, not least because identical Russian espionage techniques are currently aimed at France and Germany, which have their own elections coming up.
The previous administration ignored this rising problem, shuttering a tiny State Department effort to counter Russian propaganda only months before the Kremlin lie machine went into overdrive against President Obama’s own party. As I’ve pointed out, Obama and his White House bear part of the blame for the Russian havoc wrought last year on Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, thanks to their abject unwillingness to confront Vladimir Putin. By refusing to seriously confront Kremlin disinformation and deception, President Obama got more of both.
Now this problem, which shows no signs of going away, has become even more dangerous, since the new administration has taken to parroting Russian disinformation when it suits their political needs. A propaganda loop has emerged with Kremlin lies emerging on Putin regime outlets like RT and Sputnik, then being pushed by far-right conspiracy websites such as Breitbart and InfoWars, and finally winding up on Fox News where they receive a mass audience.
President Donald Trump is part of that audience, and this disinformation cycle is what led to his infamous tweetstorm two weekends ago that plunged our politics into chaos over his unfounded allegation that his predecessor “wiretapped” Trump Tower. That narrative has now utterly imploded, having been denounced by numerous authorities—including the former Director of National Intelligence plus the House and Senate Intelligence Committees—while late last week British intelligence and the prime minister office joined the fray after the White House implied that London had spied on Trump Tower at Obama’s behest.
Read the rest at The Observer …