Jones addresses Russian tactics used during campaign

Published 4:44 pm Thursday, December 20, 2018

During his weekly press conference call, Sen Doug Jones (D-AL) addressed a recent article which claims that Democratic operatives used strategies similar to those employed by Russia to undermine the candidacy of Democrat Hillary Clinton and promote the candidacy of now-President Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential Campaign.

The article, which appeared in the New York Times Wednesday, alleges that “Democratic tech experts” decided to use tactics similar to those employed by Russia in the Alabama Senate race.

The “secret project” was initiated over Facebook and Twitter but is suspected to have had little impact – the project was funded with $100,000 in a political battle between Jones and former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore that cost roughly $51 million.

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“I’m as outraged as anybody else about it,” Jones said during the Thursday phone conference.

Jones said during the call that he has “railed” against Russian interference since his campaign launched and has continued to do so, but noted that all of the attention on Russia has possibly allowed for domestic villains to employ the same tactics.

“I think we’ve all focused too much on just the Russians and not picked up on the fact that some nefarious groups, whether they’re right or left, could take those same playbooks and start interfering with the elections for their own benefit,” Jones said.

According to Jones, his campaign used “pretty sophisticated software” to track internet activity, specifically bots. Jones noted that the software picked up on “thousands and thousands” of bots attacking his campaign, but it never caught the deceptive campaign meant to support him and pull support away from Moore.

“We had no idea about any of this,” Jones said. “Something needs to be done about it.”

For his part, Jones believes further investigations in to the scheme should be launched by the appropriate entities.

“I think the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice ought to take a close look at this to determine whether or not any criminal laws were broken,” Jones said. “If so, prosecute them.”

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