Facebook staff interviewed in Mueller’s Russia investigation: Report

Mueller’s team has been investigating any collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russia.

world Updated: Jan 27, 2018 13:59 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service, San Francisco
Facebook,Russia investigation,Presidential election
Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing the US House Intelligence Committee on his investigation of potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, June 20, 2017. (Reuters File Photo)

As investigation into Russian interference in the Presidential election progresses, the US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation team has reportedly interviewed Facebook staff associated with President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“The interview was part of Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and what role, if any, the Trump campaign played in that interference,” The WIRED reported late on Friday, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Several social media platforms including Facebook have emerged as a key part of that investigation.

“Mueller’s team speaking with a Facebook employee does not necessarily implicate Facebook in any wrongdoing. It’s natural that a company not only close to the campaign but also directly impacted by Russian active members would be on Mueller’s radar,” the report added.

Mueller’s team has been investigating any collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russia.

During the election, Facebook had deployed its staff to embed with the Trump campaign to assist its digital operations.

Facebook, Twitter and Google worked with Hillary Clinton’s campaign team as well.

However, they did not have their employees embedded with them.

Twitter reportedly alerted 6,77,775 people that they have followed, retweeted or liked tweets by fake Russian accounts-tweets that collectively received roughly 288 million views.

Meanwhile, Google has has also said that it found 18 YouTube channels that were likely associated with Internet Research Agency.

“Accounts linked to the agency purchased $4,700 worth of ads. YouTube also included the Russian media outlet Russia Today, as part of its preferred lineup of YouTube channels, which are bundled and presented to advertisers as attractive outlets,” the WIRED report said.

The Internet Research Agency (IRA) is a Russian firm, based in St. Petersburg that engages in online influence operations on behalf of the Russian government.

First Published: Jan 27, 2018 13:59 IST