Just How Much Did Russia ‘Influence’ The Election? Seems Like Not Much At All

-By Warner Todd Huston

The liberal media and the “witch hunt” Mueller investigation are still braying that President Donald Trump “colluded” with the Russians to affect the outcome of the 2016 election. But notice how the left keeps using vague words like “collusion” and “interference” to describe their charge, yet they never give us any details about what the “interference” looks like. That’s because the actual details seem to show that the Russians had hardly any substantive effect at all on the election.

We have been told by the liberal media that “the Russians” interfered in the election. Again, they just use this catchall accusation and give no details. What Russians are they talking about? They don’t ever really say.

Then they insist that “the Russians” used their deep pockets to buy “lots” of ads to fool America into voting for… maybe Trump… or something. The left also claims “the Russians” used Facebook and social media to do this. They aren’t very specific on this, either. Just a bunch of general claims.

But, OK, let’s take this at face value for now. Let’s say the Russians did spend “lots” of money on social media. What did the reality of this spending look like?

Well, according to Byron York, who looked deep into the recent Mueller indictment of 13 Russians, it amounted to about nothing.

Here is what the Washington Examiner journalist recently found.

York noted that total election spending was $2.4 billion total. But the total spending on social media by the Russians was a tiny $100,000. On the other hand, Clinton and Trump spent a combined $81 million on Facebook ads. Facebook said the Russians placed a tiny 3,000 ads across the nation.

Further more, Facebook said that 25 percent of those ads were never seen by a single human being.

But, maybe that money was spent on the swing states that helped Trump beat Hillary in the close 2016 election? Well, the actual spending was minuscule in some of those states. The Russians spent about $2,000 in Wisconsin. And the spending was even more laughable in Michigan and Pennsylvania where Russian spending was $832 and $300 respectively. Seriously, $300!

To imagine that a $300 expenditure was enough to sway all pf Pennsylvania to Donald Trump is one of the dumbest assumptions yet.

York also notes that there is absolutely no evidence at all that the Russians were favoring Donald Trump and expected him to win. Their main goal was to sow dissent against all the candidates by floating efforts to both support an detract from each of them.

But, in the end, that “interference” was essentially meaningless.

York also noted that if you look at actual policy outcomes, Trump as been far harsher on the Russians than Obama ever was.

York wrote that Obama instituted some punitive measures in his last year in office, but the moves Trump made in his first year in office have been far more substantive.

That list includes:

  • Bombing Syria, Russia’s main client, and generally unleashing the U.S. military in Syria, including against Russians when necessary.
  • Arming Ukraine.
  • Browbeating NATO allies to increase defense spending.
  • Adding low-yield nukes to our arsenal.
  • Starting research and development on an INF noncompliant missile.
  • Shutting Russia’s San Francisco consulate.

“Yes, Obama’s December 2016 actions were actual punitive measures. But it’s hard to compare them to the… list of Trump actions — including, for example, U.S. forces killing at least 100 Russian mercenaries in Syria recently — and say Obama was the president who was harder on Russia,” York wrote.

Finally, let’s not forget that in 2012, Obama was caught on an open mic telling Putin stooge Dmitry Medvedev that after his re-election he will be more able to bend to Vladimir Putin’s desires.

So, who was tougher on the Russians? It sure wasn’t Obama. And yet, the media continues to claim that Trump is the one who “colluded” with Russia.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Follow Warner Todd Huston on:

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing news, opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that wrote articles on U.S. history for several American history magazines. Huston is a featured writer for Andrew Breitbart’s Breitbart News, and he appears on such sites as RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, YoungConservatives.com, and many, many others. Huston has also appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and many local TV shows as well as numerous talk radio shows throughout the country.

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