(National Sentinel)Â Hack-like: Special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into alleged ‘collusion’ between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia has taken a new twist,Â Business Insider reported Wednesday.
Mueller investigators are questioning staffers at the Republican National Committee about the organization’s digital operations with the Trump campaign.
Two sources told Yahoo News that Mueller’s investigators are looking into whether the joint RNC-Trump campaign data operation â€” directed on Trump’s side by Brad Parscale and managed by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner â€” “wasÂ related to the activities of Russian trolls and bots aimed at influencing the American electorate.”
Already, the FBI had been scrutinizing Kushner’s contacts a year ago with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. and the CEO of a sanctioned Russian bank. So far, however, the bureau has not produced any evidence or findings of wrongdoing.
The FBI has beenÂ scrutinizingÂ Kushner’s contacts in December 2016 with the Russian ambassador to the US and the CEO of a sanctioned Russian bank.
No one in Mueller’s office or the RNC would verify the claims, however. Also, a source close to one of the Trump campaign’s data firms said they were “unaware of anyone being questioned,”Â Business Insider reported.
The site noted further:
It is not surprising that federal investigators have begun to examine the possibility that Russia and the Trump campaign helped each other during the election. Investigators have been looking into whether Russia provided the campaign with voter information stolen by Russian hackersfrom election databases in several states, and whether the Trump campaign helped Russia target its political ads to specific demographics and voting precincts.
In November, Parscale denied that Russians assisted the Trump campaign’s data operations.
“Absolutely not,â€ Parscale said on Fox Newsâ€™ â€œThe Story with Martha MacCallum.â€ He emphasized that the Trump campaign got the data it used here in America.
“In the United States, we actually have access to some of the best data, and the data we used on this campaign directly came from the Republican National Committee, and what they did after the 2012 election to build a data set like never seen before,â€ Parscale said. â€œWe didnâ€™t need data, we didnâ€™t need it from anyone else, it was right here in the United States of America, and the best data is right here.â€
RT.com, short for “Russia Today,” a government-aligned media organ, reported in October that half of Russian ads on Facebook were shown after the Nov. 8, 2016 election, with an additional 25 percent never seen at all.
Mark Penn, the former chief strategist on Bill Clintonâ€™s 1996 presidential campaign, Hillary Clintonâ€™s 2000 Senate campaign, and her 2008 presidential campaign, admitted itâ€™s impossible Russian Facebook ads won Donald Trump the White House.
“I have 40 years of experience in politics, and this Russian ad buy, mostly after the election anyway, simply does not add up to a carefully targeted campaign to move voters,” he wrote inÂ The Wall Street Journal.
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