Continuing his early morning tweetstorm, Donald Trump on Friday questioned the recent media focus on Facebook's decision to overhaul how it handles political advertisements amid investigations into alleged Russian interference in U.S. elections, and called reports of Kremlin-linked groups buying Facebook ads to sway the 2016 election part of a "Russia hoax."
“The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary."
The Russia hoax continues, now it's ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2017
In a subsequent tweet, Trump also slammed reports that pro-Russian groups used Facebook ads to influence voters in his favor during the 2016 election, and questioned why no attention was paid to the "fake news media's" bias in favor of "crooked" Hillary Clinton.
"The greatest influence over our election was the Fake News Media "screaming" for Crooked Hillary Clinton. Next, she was a bad candidate!"
The greatest influence over our election was the Fake News Media "screaming" for Crooked Hillary Clinton. Next, she was a bad candidate!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2017
Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that Moscow had nothing to do with political advertisements on Facebook that were allegedly aimed at influencing the 2016 US presidential election
“We do not know ... how to place an advert on Facebook. We have never done this, and the Russian side has never been involved in it,” Peskov told a conference call with reporters.
The statement was in response to Facebook's report that a Russian agency had purchased some ads on the social network during the 2016 presidential campaign. Facebook co-founder and Chairman Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday that the company is “actively working with the US government on its ongoing investigations into Russian interference.”
Facebook previously told investigators it discovered some 3,000 political ads published on its platform over the past two years which were reportedly linked to fake accounts based in Russia. Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, made the revelation in a blog post Wednesday. Stamos said that 470 inauthentic accounts spent about $100,000 to buy roughly 3,000 ads. He added that the accounts have since been suspended. On Thursday Facebook announced it would turn over the ads to Congressional investigators.
The company also said that it “will help government authorities complete the vitally important work of assessing what happened in the 2016 election.” “We are looking into foreign actors, including additional Russian groups and other former Soviet states, as well as organizations like the campaigns, to further our understanding of how they used our tools."