Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) claimed that the national anthem protest of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was exacerbated by Russian social media bots in an interview Friday.
Harris, who has experienced a surge in polling since the Democratic debates, made the comments while on a talk radio show.
"You know people have said if you look at, for example, the whole, remember the whole, the heat that ended up around the bend the knee and Colin Kaepernick?" she asked.
"Many smart people have said it actually was not a thing, the Russian bots started taking that on," Harris claimed.
"Do you feel like you're being targeted by Russian bots right now?" asked a radio host.
"Well we already know that," she confidently replied.
Harris was referring to a report that said Russian online efforts to meddle in the 2016 election included messages and memes from social media bots related to the Kaepernick protest.
Researchers told the Wall Street Journal that they identified more than 12,000 tweets about the NFL or the national anthem from accounts related to a Kremlin-backed online bot farm over numerous months during the controversy.
The claim from Harris that there would not have been a controversy without Russian encouragement appears to be an exaggeration of that report.
Here's the video of her comments:
Harris: Russian Bots Started Kaepernick Controversy www.youtube.com