Ranking Democrat member of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said that the committee was investigating whether the Donald Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians to spread "fake news" through trolls and "bots" online and sway the election.
"We are certainly investigating how the Russians used paid media trolls and bots," Schiff explained to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday. "How they used their RT propaganda platform to disseminate information, to potentially raise stories, some real some not so real, to the top of people's social media."
"Fake news" was blamed by some members of Hillary Clinton's campaign for muddying the waters of the election and pushing some voters to stay home and others to mistrust the Democratic presidential nominee because of unsubstantiated and salacious conspiracy theories and false reports.
"We want to know was that done in a very sophisticated way, in a targeted way," Schiff continued. "How sophisticated were the Russians in terms of what states they looked at.
"And obviously, this also could implicate the issue of whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians," he added. "That is certainly an area that we need to investigate. "
Schiff says the intel committee is investigating how Russia used paid media trolls and bots to spread fake news https://t.co/Jgm36N2Xd9
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 29, 2017
Schiff has been in an escalating rhetorical battle with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, over his controversial act of presenting evidence to President Trump of his wiretapping claims before telling the committee. Some have called for his recusal and others even say he should step down from the committee.
Trump has denied all allegations of Russian collusion, and some, like Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) have defended the administration against what they consider to be baseless accusations.