Rep. Devin Nunes, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee and authored a controversial memo alleging misconduct at the FBI and Department of Justice, sent a tweet asking Russian bots to help him discredit the Russia investigation.
In his tweet, Nunes linked to an article from The Federalist that claimed to debunk a number of alleged conspiracy theories about the Russia investigation.
The article in Nunes’s tweet ridiculed alleged conspiracy theories about the Russia investigation and took aim at Rep. Adam Schiff, Nunes’s Democratic colleague and the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee.
“Catch up on mainstream media Russian conspiracy theories in this piece by @FDRLST PS-If you are a Russian Bot please make this go viral PSS-If you’re not a Russian Bot you will become one if you retweet,” Nunes tweeted.
Catch up on mainstream media Russian conspiracy theories in this piece by @FDRLST PS-If you are a Russian Bot please make this go viral PSS-If you’re not a Russian Bot you will become one if you retweet https://t.co/05Gw8cinNX
— Devin Nunes (@DevinNunes) February 21, 2018
The Russian bots Nunes is referring to are Twitter accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian organization that stood at the center of the multifaceted effort by groups controlled by the Russian state and President Vladimir Putin to interfere in the 2016 US election.
The group had previously helped boost the Twitter hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo, which called on the House Intelligence Committee to release Nunes memo.
Special counsel Robert Mueller handed down a detailed indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities last week, including the IRA, for “violating US criminal laws in order to interfere with US elections and political processes.”
U.S. intelligence agencies that investigated Russian meddling in the US election have concluded that the interference did take place. Mueller’s indictment casts further light on this interference operation, and points specifically to the IRA as a hub from which hundreds of fake accounts were used to divide the American public and sow political discord online.
This month, Twitter deactivated thousands of accounts that were likely linked to the operation last year, taking hundreds of thousands of tweets with them. The move prompted Trump supporters to cry in despair after half their Twitter followers vanished overnight.