U.S. prosecutors who indicted over a dozen Russians for supposedly meddling in the 2016 presidential election say that the same individuals were behind rallies organized to disparage Donald Trump days after he won the election.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters that following the election, “the defendants allegedly staged rallies to support the president-elect while simultaneously staging rallies to protest his election.” For example, recounted Rosenstein, “the defendants organized one rally to support the president-elect and another rally to oppose him, both in New York on the same day.”
The “Trump Is NOT My President” rally, along with a “Show Your Support for President-elect Donald Trump” rally, which both took place November 12, 2016 in New York City, were organized by the Russians, alleges the indictment signed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
According to the indictment, the Russians also organized a “Charlotte Against Trump” rally in North Carolina a week later, on November 19.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, the indictment says, the Russian agents worked in support of the Trump campaign, while spreading denigrating information about his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton. The goal, alleges the indictment, was to “sow discord in the U.S. political system.”
In one pre-election rally in Florida, according to the Mueller-led investigation, the Russians allegedly paid an individual to portray candidate Clinton in a prison uniform standing inside a cage on a flatbed truck.
In some of the pre-election rallies, said the indictment, Trump campaign workers unknowingly aided the alleged Russian efforts by providing signs, after the Russians posed as Americans and contacted the campaign through phony social media accounts. In order to conceal their true identities and goals, “defendants and their co-conspirators promoted these rallies while pretending to be U.S. grassroots activists who were located in the United States but unable to meet or participate in person,” alleges the indictment.
CNSNews.com noted that several major media outlets were sucked in by the Russian ruse, with CNN and MSNBC airing hourly celebratory reports on the synthesized anti-Trump rallies. “MSNBC framed the rally as a protest against Trump’s alleged racism, sexism, homophobia and hate,” reported the online news site. “'The energy here is electric,’ MSNBC correspondent Morgan Radford proclaimed, adding that the protesters were fighting against the ‘license to carry in terms of hate’ prompted by Trump’s election.”
Meanwhile, “CNN’s constant coverage also described the protest in glowing terms,” reported CNSNews, “calling it 'the most organized protest that I’ve seen happen here in New York City, and that’s good news,’ and a rally delivering 'messages about stopping the hate.'”
CNN went as far as to report that the New York anti-Trump rally was organized by a 20-year-old student from a nearby university.
Photo of November 12, 2016 anti-Trump rally in New York City: AP Images