Those Funny Russian Trolls

Call them what you will—trolls, comment monkeys, sock-puppets—no-one should doubt that the hundreds of employees of the ‘Internet Research Agency’ had a sense of humor. From the Mueller indictment:

On or about May 29, 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators, through an ORGANIZATION-controlled social media account, arranged for a real U.S. person to stand in front of the White House in the District of Columbia under false pretenses and hold a sign that read “Happy 55th Birthday Dear Boss.” Defendants and their co-conspirators informed the real U.S. person that the sign was for someone who “is a leader here and our boss…our funder.” PRIGOZHIN’s Russian passport identifies his date of birth as June 1, 1961.

PRIGOZHIN refers to Yevgeny Prigozhin, better known as ‘Putin’s Chef,’ responsible for funding the troll farm now under indictment for meddling in the U.S. political system. Imagine Prigozhin’s delight at seeing his birthday message, presumably on camera, proving that his minions had penetrated the heart of our democracy. They stood a couple hundreds yards from the White House holding up what must have seemed to all the other sign-holders outside Obama’s residence a ridiculous, inscrutable message.

The rest of the indictment isn’t so funny. Rather, it’s a scorching litany of actions taken by the IRA to boost the electoral chances of Donald Trump.  What a humiliation for Trump’s fragile legitimacy. The detailed allegations in these 37 pages shreds the last doubts that his victory was aided and abetted by foreign agents.

The first step every American must take as a precaution against meddling in this fall’s election: read the indictment. Know the strategies. Get smart, America.

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