Russian bots reportedly retweeted Donald Trump 500,000 times before election

Russian bots retweeted Donald Trump messages close to half-a-million times in the weeks leading up to the presidential election, Twitter officials revealed to the Senate Judiciary Committee, CNN reports.

Some 50,000 of the automated accounts linked to Russia retweeted Trump 10 times more often than they retweeted messages from his rival, Hillary Clinton, Twitter detailed in a written statement this month expanding on testimony to the committee last fall. 

The bots tweeted a total of some 2 million messages related to the election beginning in September 2016 to Nov. 15, according to Twitter.

The bots also retweeted and helped amplify other content seen as harmful to the Democrats — including information about hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee exposed on Wikileaks. When the hashtag #PodestaEmails was launched after Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails were hacked, the Russian bots were responsible for a stunning 5 percent of all the tweets on the hashtag, according to data provided by Twitter.

RELATED: Putting the Trump-Russia timeline into perspective

Putting the Trump-Russia timeline into perspective
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Putting the Trump-Russia timeline into perspective
June 7: The 2016 primary season essentially concludes, with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the presumptive party nominees
June 9: Donald Trump Jr. — along with Jared Kushner and former campaign chair Paul Manafort — meets with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
June 9: Trump tweets about Clinton's missing 33,000 emails
July 18: Washington Post reports, on the first day of the GOP convention, that the Trump campaign changed the Republican platform to ensure that it didn't call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces
July 21: GOP convention concludes with Trump giving his speech accepting the Republican nomination
July 22: WikiLeaks releases stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee
July 25: Democratic convention begins
July 27: In final news conference of his 2016 campaign, Trump asks Russia: "If you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing"
August 4: Obama CIA Director John Brennan confronts his Russian counterpart about Russia's interference. "[I] told him if you go down this road, it's going to have serious consequences, not only for the bilateral relationship, but for our ability to work with Russia on any issue, because it is an assault on our democracy," Brennan said on "Meet the Press" yesterday.
October 4: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange says his organization will publish emails related to the 2016 campaign
October 7: WikiLeaks begins releasing Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta's emails
October 7: Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence release a statement directly saying that Russia is interfering in the 2016 election
October 31: "This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove," Trump says on the campaign trail
November 4: "Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks," Trump says from Ohio.

Twitter revealed the information as Senate and House committees continue to probe the extent of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election. American intelligence officials have concluded that bots under the control of the Kremlin were mobilized in a bid to sway the election toward a Trump victory

More recently, Russian bots have artificially amplified the traffic of the hashtag #SchumerShutdown, which blames the Democratic Party for the recent government shutdown.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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