President Trump on Saturday invoked the words of a Facebook executive in criticizing the media’s reporting on the new Russian indictments.
Rob Goldman, Facebook’s vice president of ads, posted a series of tweets reiterating what the social media giant had discovered in recent months about Russian efforts to interfere with the election using the platform.
“The majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election,” Goldman tweeted. “We shared that fact, but very few outlets have covered it because it doesn’t align with the main media narrative of Tump [sic] and the election.”
The president retweeted Goldman’s statement, writing, “The Fake News Media never fails. Hard to ignore this fact from the Vice President of Facebook Ads, Rob Goldman!”
The Fake News Media never fails. Hard to ignore this fact from the Vice President of Facebook Ads, Rob Goldman! https://t.co/XGC7ynZwYJ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2018
According to a Facebook release from October, 56 percent of the ads purchased by Russian operatives were done so after the election. The indictment released Friday names 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups, and accuses them of criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States, among other charges.
The defendants worked to “sow discord” and distrust in democracy among American voters by promoting Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders ’s (I-Vt.) campaign and disparaging Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Hillary Clinton ’s campaigns, according to the indictment.
Trump also retweeted Goldman’s assertion that the goal of Russian meddling was not “swaying the election.”
“Most of the coverage of Russian meddling involves their attempt to effect the outcome of the 2016 US election. I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal,” Goldman wrote.
“I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal.”
Vice President of Facebook Ads https://t.co/A5ft7cGJkE
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2018
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Friday that the indictments do not contain any allegations that the interference changed the outcome of the election. Trump has long referred to the investigation into Russia’s election meddling as a “hoax,” but has since latched on to Friday’s indictments and Rosenstein’s comments as proof that there was “no collusion” between his campaign and the Russians. The investigation is ongoing.
Friday’s indictments further detailed the operatives’ efforts to spread false information during the election process and to organize voters using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.