The events of November 8, 2016 surprised many; despite most national polls saying Democrat Hillary Clinton was projected to win in a landslide, Republican candidate Donald Trump emerged the victor.
A new report shows something else stunning occurred on Election Day: the Obama administration was “monitoring the media” for any damaging reports on the Democratic candidate.
One official describes the actions as “right on the edge of Constitutional legality.”
Per Daily Caller:
Dozens of FBI officials monitored social media on Election Day 2016 looking for “fake news” being spread as part of a Russian disinformation campaign against former candidate Hillary Clinton, multiple sources told CNN.
The FBI knew it was walking a fine legal line by monitoring the media for “fake news,” according to sources. It was part of a larger effort to look for Russian cyber threats to the elections, CNN reported.
“We were right on the edge of Constitutional legality,” a source briefed on the matter told CNN. “We were monitoring news.”
Although the surveillance effort was a sweeping move to monitor Russian influence in the national election, no evidence has been found:
Intelligence officials monitoring social media held conference calls with the White House throughout Election Day. Some minor issues came up, but nothing happened to disrupt voting.
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An anonymous Obama White House official told CNN the election monitoring was “a failure of imagination,” and what the Russians “did worked.”
The news comes on the heels of reports that special counsel Robert Mueller will use at least two grand juries in his investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence during the campaign.
To date, there’s been no conclusive evidence of collusion.