Business Day

Trump slams Facebook and questions its role in election

- Washington /Reuters

US President Donald Trump has criticised Facebook as “antiTrump” and questioned its role during the 2016 presidenti­al campaign amid probes into alleged Russian interferen­ce in the election and possible collusion by Trump’s associates.

His salvo came on Wednesday as the social media company prepares to hand over to congressio­nal investigat­ors 3,000 political advertisem­ents it said were likely to have been bought by Russian entities during and after the 2016 presidenti­al contest.

Trump appeared to embrace the focus on the social media network in his comments, which also took aim at traditiona­l media outlets, targeted by the president as “fake news”.

“Facebook was always antiTrump. The networks were always anti-Trump,” he said on Twitter, levelling the same charge against the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Representa­tives for Facebook did not immediatel­y respond to a request for comment on Trump’s tweet.

US Representa­tive Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the house intelligen­ce committee, which is among those investigat­ing Russia’s role, said he expected to have the advertisem­ents by next week and they should be made public.

“You really need to see them to recognise how cynical an effort this was by the Kremlin, how they sought to just accentuate those divisions ... and drive American against American,” Schiff said, adding that Facebook and Twitter executives should testify publicly about the issue.

Facebook and other technology companies are coming under increased scrutiny amid the Russia investigat­ions.

The probes, being conducted by several congressio­nal committees along with the department of justice, have clouded Trump’s tenure since he took office in January.

 ?? /AFP Photo ?? Twitter salvo: President Donald Trump says Facebook ‘was always anti-Trump’.
/AFP Photo Twitter salvo: President Donald Trump says Facebook ‘was always anti-Trump’.

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