Former US Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton © Mario Anzuoni / Reuters
Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is raising a cry of alarm that the “Russians are still coming” and accusing President Donald Trump of doing nothing to defend the upcoming US elections.
Though the US media and political establishment gave Clinton a 98 percent chance to become president in 2016, she lost to Trump – and she has blamed the loss on former FBI Director James Comey, WikiLeaks and “the Russians,” including President Vladimir Putin personally.
“I say this as a former Secretary of State and as an American: the Russians are still coming,” Clinton tweeted on Wednesday. She said that the US intelligence community wants “Trump to act” but he has continued to “ignore and surrender.”
Clinton posted a link to a Washington Post article on Tuesday’s testimony by Admiral Mike Rogers, the head of the US Cyber Command and the NSA, to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Rogers said that Trump has not granted him any new authorities or capabilities to attack Russian cyber operations ahead of the midterm elections in November.
“I haven’t been granted any, you know, additional authorities, capacity and capability,” he told Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire).
Having originally followed Clinton’s lead in accusing Russia of outright “hacking” the election, Democrats have since whittled their accusations down to “meddling” and “influencing,” to the point where no one actually knows who did what to whom or when. That has not stopped the US intelligence apparatus and the media from breathlessly speculating about the “Russian threat,” though.
In addition to blaming Russia for losing the White House race, Clinton has pointed her finger at social media. On Monday, she retweeted a claim that Facebook charged her campaign far more than Trump’s for advertising, adding that something needs to be done about social networks’ impact on US elections.
“We owe it to our democracy to get this right, and fast,” she said.
While diehard Clinton supporters were quick to believe reports that Facebook overcharged her campaign by a factor of 200, one Facebook executive moved quickly to counter such claims, releasing statistics that showed otherwise.
Trump’s campaign “paid slightly higher CPM prices on most days rather than lower as has been reported,” Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth said Tuesday, referring to her costs per thousand (CPM) impressions.
“Prices depend on factors like size of audience and campaign objective. These campaigns had different strategies,” Bosworth added. “Given the recent discussion about pricing we’re putting this out to clear up any confusion.”
Facebook is willing to share more information, but will need permission from the campaigns, Bosworth said.