- A woman who ran a Facebook page supporting Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign denies that she was unknowingly manipulated by Russia-linked operatives who sought to meddle in the election.
- Florine Gruen Goldfarb gave an interview to CNN about that, but it quickly went sideways.
- “I don’t go with Russians – come on, give me a break,” Goldfarb told a CNN reporter.
A woman in Florida who unknowingly posted messages in support of events promoted by Russia-linked trolls during the 2016 US presidential campaign denied she had been duped by the Kremlin operatives.
Florine Gruen Goldfarb ran the Facebook page Team Trump Broward County, which posted messages touting pro-Donald Trump gatherings in 2016 – one of which was a flash mob scheduled for August 20 of that year.
Goldfarb talked to a CNN reporter about that this week, but the interview quickly went sideways when Goldfarb was informed that Russian trolls helped coordinate that event and others like it. “I don’t go with Russians – come on, give me a break,” Goldfarb said.
“I have nothing to do with the Russians,” she said, insisting, “Those people that were with me were all Trump supporters.”
According to indictments announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last week, the event was one of many that were boosted by operatives with the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll factory that was tasked with sowing political discord in the US.
Some of those operatives personally contacted Americans to promote activities meant to boost Trump and denounce his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
When confronted with the notion that she may have been manipulated by Russian trolls who contacted Trump supporters via social media, Goldfarb said: “I don’t believe that. That’s bulls—. I know all the people that were with me, OK? They were at my meetings. They were all Trump supporters.”
Watch the interaction below:
A Florida woman who ran a Trump supporters page that unwittingly promoted a Russian-coordinated event on Facebook says she doesn’t believe that she was influenced by Kremlin-linked trolls https://t.co/LjRFFhJOLx pic.twitter.com/uYB0spZvn9
— CNN (@CNN) February 21, 2018
The FBI has reportedly interviewed multiple Americans who were unknowingly targeted by Russian operatives. Among those is Harry Miller, who told CNN he had multiple calls with IRA operatives who ran the Being Patriotic Facebook page.
The group paid Miller to build a cage in which two people dressed as Bill and Hillary Clinton pretended to be prisoners during an August 2016 event in West Palm Beach, Florida. Miller said he had no idea he was interacting with Russians, but he said their limited command of the English language gave him pause.
Miller told CNN: “A guy calls you and you talk to him and you build up a rapport over a period of time, you’re nice to him because you understand he has a dialect and his language is a little hard to understand, but you think he’s probably an immigrant here.”
FBI agents later tracked Miller down months after that August 2016 event and interviewed him for nearly six hours, CNN reported.
Trump, in fits and starts, has indicated his support for the broad federal investigation of Russian meddling, but he has more often bristled at the notion that Kremlin operatives were working on his behalf or that his campaign coordinated with Russia to meddle in the election.
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