Among the challenges facing the five committees investigating possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, a central hurdle is understanding how Russian-bankrolled “fake news” spread across social networks.
According to a report in Politico, lawmakers have allegedly turned to Facebook for answers. Sources confirmed that Facebook officials are “in touch with key congressional investigators” who are looking for information about Russian interference. In May, Mark Warner (D-VA), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, visited Facebook headquarters in May. Neither Facebook nor Twitter would comment about whether they were cooperating.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is filled with prosecutors and FBI agents “well equipped” to investigate the Twitter bots and Facebook trolls that churned out content boosting Trump and maligning Clinton, Politico reports. As part of its investigation, the House Intelligence Committee also wants to speak with Brad Parscale, the Trump campaign’s top digital strategist, as well as Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who helped coordinate the digital effort.
It’s still unclear to what extent the social media companies are complying or will comply with any investigation. (Facebook, Buzzfeed reports, has lately been aggressive about pushing government search warrants into the open.) You can read the full Politico story here.