One of the most salacious reveals in the indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of 13 Russian nationals and entities unsealed on Friday could be optioned for a TV pilot, that is if the show didn’t exist already.
The revelations in the indictment concerning what Russian meddlers did in Florida during the 2016 campaign read like something straight out of “The Americans,” the FX show about Russian spies posing as American families living undetected amongst us in the 80s.
The extent to which Russians got offline and started meddling “IRL” is shocking.
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Russian nationals posing as Americans tricked Trump campaign officials and volunteers working in the nation’s biggest swing state into holding rallies the Russians organized and financed with Russian money.
Maybe one of the most chilling revelations is how Trump campaign officials admit that they were surprised by the level of support for Trump in Florida, but that they just assumed it was real because it seemed organic at the time.
They know better now. Susie Wiles was a top organizer for the Trump Campaign in Florida. She said that her team did due diligence when working with people to plan rallies and do outreach, but that checking to see if supporters were secretly Russian spies wasn’t on the checklist.
“We looked out for things when people came to rallies/We weren’t looking for fake Americans that were really Russians. The world seems different now,” she said.
The indictment describes how Russian nationals posing as Americans worked to organize “Florida goes Trump” rallies – there were 20 held across Florida. As part of that effort, these same Russians asked one US citizen to build a cage on a flatbed truck and another to dress in a costume as Hillary Clinton in a prison jumpsuit. The stunt was incredibly popular with voters in Florida.
Russians also issued the press releases connected to the “Florida goes Trump” rallies rife with typos and language pulled straight from Trump speeches.
The lengths to which Russians went to meddle in the election in Florida show just how deeply they permeated and how completely they compromised our political secret. The question now will be what we do with this information going forward, and whether the Trump administration will do anything to safeguard against this happening again.