March 20 2018

Senators call for greater Facebook transparency amid Russian Federation investigation

March 20 2018, 11:29 | Ann Lamb

Mark Warner Flickr

Mark Warner  Flickr

"We don't release documents provided by to our committee, period", Burr said.

The news conference Burr and Warner held to provide a progress report on their monthslong probe underscored their investigation is growing in scope and is not shying away from the question of collusion -- which Trump has repeatedly dismissed as a "hoax". Richard Burr, the North Carolina Republican who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, said at a widely attended hearing in the Capitol Building. Burr added that what they can discern is that the Russian intelligence service is determined, clever, and that every campaign and election official should take this into account as we head into the 2018 elections.

"The Russian active measures efforts did not end on Election Day 2016", Warner added. Trump tweeted on September 22, after the social media giant said it found 3,000 ads on "divisive" social issues which were "likely" run from Russian Federation.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election since December. First, Burr and Warner stated that Americans have a right to know the source of social media ads and if they were created by "foreign entities".

Facebook is in the spotlight after revelations that it allowed onto its network a series of Russia-linked ads which appeared to use hot-button issues to turn people against one another ahead of the election.

Facebook said Wednesday that it had accepted invitations from both committees, and Twitter confirmed it would testify before the Senate panel. "I say that to you but also say it to Chris Steele".

It would take changing only a few states' electoral count to alter an election outcome, the Virginia Democrat reminded.

Burr said the panel has 25 more witnesses scheduled this month. The company ran a full page ad in today's Washington Post detailing its commitment to fighting election interference, covering numerous same points made by Mark Zuckerberg in a blog post in September.

Investigation of the explosive dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele has been one area where the committee's probe has stalled. "It seems that the overall theme of the Russian involvement in the USA elections was to create chaos at every level".

A representative for Tillerson did later explicitly deny the "moron" quip, but NBC News told Business Insider that it stood by its reporting.

Still, the senators suggested it may be a while before they can answer perhaps the biggest question of all: Was Trump or anyone on his campaign in cahoots with Russian Federation during the campaign?

"If he hadn't been cooperative, we would've subpoenaed him", Burr said of Trump Jr.

Facebook said on October 2 that it will hire more than 1,000 people to help prevent deceptive ads from appearing on the social-media site and influencing future elections.

Steele is reported to have spoken to Federal Bureau of Investigation officials about his findings and given them information on his sources.

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