Speaking on the 17th anniversary of 9/11 on Tuesday, Maine Sen. Angus King compared the devastating 2001 terrorist attacks — where almost 3,000 Americans died — to online trolls “in St. Petersburg, Russia.”
The left-wing senator, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, suggested that the presence of “Russian” trolls on social media is somehow a continuation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
And considering the current Democrat-media obsession with linking Russian trolls to President Donald Trump’s election, it seemed to be what the left would call a clear “dog whistle,” an implicit condemnation of Trump’s supporters everywhere because — as anyone who watches CNN regularly is fully aware — Trump’s administration, his supporters and even the president himself are known besties with all Russian hackers, which is why they handed him the election last year.
Or, you know. Something like that.
“That was the beginning of an attack that I would argue is continuing today,” King said during an event in Lewistown, Maine, according to The Daily Caller. “They used airplanes (to crash) into towers. Now, people can use the click of a computer key in St. Petersburg, Russia, to attack.”
And what does King think those St. Petersburg residents were doing? Supporting Trump’s presidency, of course — or trying to torpedo Hillary Clinton’s, which amounts to the same thing.
King then outright said both were “the same kind of attack.”
“It’s an attack that continues, and it’s the same kind of attack today that occurred in 2001,” King claimed.
Yes, those were his actual words. We probably wouldn’t believe it either, without the video:
It’s clear that King wants Americans to think of Russian campaign interference in 2016 as an incident every bit as consequential as the death of nearly 3,000 people in the worst terror attack ever committed on American soil. Why? Because the worse Americans think that interference was, the more illegitimate the Trump presidency looks.
King has made similarly ridiculous statements in the past.
Eric Brakey, a Republican running against King for the U.S. Senate, blasted King’s bizarre statements, according to The Daily Caller.
“I am appalled that Angus King, on today of all days, compared the brutal terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the murder of over 3,000 innocent Americans to Russian computer hackers. The two things are simply incomparable, and reflect the deranged thinking of Angus and his liberal allies,” Brakey said.
And it’s the kind of “deranged thinking,” and the reaction to it, that has all too easily spilled over to smear supporters of the president.
Not only is the danger of Russian internet trolls being hideously exaggerated by comparisons like King’s, but the hysteria about them is even sweeping up Americans who are backing the man in the White House.
Social media platforms have already begun cracking down on what they perceive as Russian bots, but a lot of those “bots” turn out to be genuine Trump voters.
In August, The Associated Press tracked down some of the people who have been flagged in Twitter’s bot crackdown, such as 70-year old Trump supporter Nina Tomasieski.
“Almost all of us are considered a bot,” Tomasieski, a Tennessee resident, told the AP.
Another Twitter user and genuine American supporter of Trump, Cynthia Smith, told the AP she was locked out of her account and “shadow banned,” meaning her tweets were not visible to other users.
“I’m a gal in Southern California,” Smith told the AP. “I am no bot.”
These false positives lead any sensible person to question how much of the “Russian bot” hysteria is genuine and how much of it is an attempt to silence real supporters of Trump. I would be curious to know how many CNN viewers, if any, were accidentally swept up in the crusade against bots. Probably not many.
Of course, there aren’t that many CNN viewers to begin with, so maybe that’s not a good measure.
Bots or not, the current Russia hysteria is not comparable at all to the 9/11 attacks — and even a liberal like Angus King should know it. He also likely knows full well that it’s Trump supporters who are largely being targeted by social media companies in a panic of Russian bots.
The 9/11 terrorist attacks took thousands of lives, destroyed the World Trade Center, damaged the Pentagon, and put the United States on a war footing that lasts to this day.
To compare the 9/11 terrorist attacks to online computer trolls is completely disrespectful to the people who lost their lives on that tragic day. To link those attackers, however subtly, to the men and women who support the president proves just how much liberals misjudge this country.
And how desperate they have become to delegitimize the Trump presidency — and the wishes of the millions of Americans who voted him into office.
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