Thousands of demonstrators protest the anticipated immigration policies of president-elect Donald Trump during a march, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

 

We’ve heard a lot about how the Russians were trying to meddle in the 2016 election. But all of the stories have been a) nebulous and b) based on the assumption that the Russians were pushing Donald Trump’s candidacy. I’ve long been a fan of the Intelligence Community’s assessment before Clinton fellatisto and CIA Director John Brennan decided he was in charge. That assessment was that the purpose of Russian information operations in the United States was to exacerbate divisions and cause lack of trust in democratic systems and processes. Period. Now we have some fairly ironclad evidence of how the Russians operated.

Thousands of Americans attended a march last November organized by a Russian group that used social media to interfere in the 2016 election.

The demonstration in New York City, which took place a few days after the election, appears to be the largest and most successful known effort to date pulled off by Russian-linked groups intent on using social media platforms to influence American politics.

Sixteen thousand Facebook users said that they planned to attend a Trump protest on Nov. 12, 2016, organized by the Facebook page for BlackMattersUS, a Russian-linked group that sought to capitalize on racial tensions between black and white Americans. The event was shared with 61,000 users.

As many as 5,000 to 10,000 protesters actually convened at Manhattan’s Union Square, where they then marched to Trump Tower, according to media reports at the time.

CNN covered it:

In New York, angry crowds — some carrying signs with messages such as “Not my president” — marched to the President-elect’s doorstep, Trump Tower, where he lives and works.

For part of the march up Fifth Avenue, they chanted, “Donald Trump go away. Racist — sexist — anti-gay.”

Outside the gleaming tower, demonstrators at one point booed at people standing on balconies.

Hollywood Reporter:

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers protested Saturday outside the president-elect’s Trump Tower, including filmmaker Michael Moore, who brought a camera crew and asked to see Trump.

ABC News:

In New York City, about 2,000 protesters marched up Fifth Avenue toward Trump Tower, where they gathered outside, according to local ABC-owned station WABC. They held signs that read, “Not my president,” “Say no to racism,” “We are all human, we all deserve rights” and “Love trumps hate.”

Two protesters were arrested overnight for “interfering with police process,” according to the NYPD.

The president-elect had been holed up inside Trump Tower with his transition team all day.

So don’t insult my intelligence by telling me the Russians cared who was elected president. It is no accident that while DNC and Podesta emails were being shopped around that the Russian-sourced Trump dossier was also making the rounds. The Russians wanted the winner to be roughed up, they wanted the losers to refuse to accept the election, they wanted the fringe within the winning party to be angry at their own candidate. And they succeeded.