Jared Kushner Made A Wildly Inaccurate Claim About Russian Influence

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Jared Kushner Made A Wildly Inaccurate Claim About Russian Influence
Jared Kushner tried to downplay the impact of Russia's election meddling, and in doing so he severely underestimated what Russia actually did.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

During the Time 100 Summit in late April, Jared Kushner was asked about the Mueller report, and he appeared to downplay the impact of Russian meddling. 

"You look at what Russia did — buying some Facebook ads to try and sow dissent. And it's a terrible thing, but I think the investigations and all the speculation that's happened over the past two years has had a much harsher impact on our democracy than a couple of Facebook ads."

A couple of Facebook ads? That's not just wrong, that's wildly incorrect. Let's take a look at the facts.

Facebook identified over 3,500 ads that were purchased by the Internet Research Agency, the Russian-based troll farm. And those ads were seen by an estimated 10 million people. But Russia's reach on the social media giant went beyond ad buys. Facebook told the special counsel's investigators that IRA-controlled accounts made over 80,000 posts from January 2015 to August 2017. The reach of those posts could be as high as 126 million people.

And the influence campaign wasn't limited to Facebook. The IRA also controlled accounts on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr. And Russian agents operated a wide-ranging hacking effort, targeting the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. 

No matter how you look at it, that's a lot more than "a couple Facebook ads."

This story is reported in partnership with PolitiFact and is part of an in-depth analysis show called "What The Fact" that airs Sunday mornings on Newsy.