Russia has been invoked so often during the 2016 presidential election, it almost feels like the Cold War again. After reports of Russian troll factories and evidence linking hacks of the Democratic Party to Russia, Hillary Clinton went so far as to call her opponent Donald Trump a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin at one presidential debate. However, it’s still unclear exactly how much the Russian government is involved, if at all, with the American election. To find out more, Samantha Bee actually went to Moscow and interviewed two paid trolls (one man, one woman, both obscured by black ski masks).
Despite comparing their operation to Fight Club (“the first rule of Fight Club, not to talk about this”), the two trolls did explain themselves to Bee. They each have multiple social media accounts pretending to be Americans, which they use to comment on both traditional publications like the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Both trolls see themselves as doing good work, helping shake things up, to which Bee pointed out that Russian trolls often spread misinformation that gets picked up by the likes of Fox News, Drudge Report, and even Trump himself.
“And are Russian trolls to blame for that?” The woman responded, “Maybe people are to blame too. They’re lazy and believe everything they read.”
The man said something similar, explaining, “If I see something that I don’t like, I need to break it or change it. Why not? People are crazy.”
“Are you crazy?” Bee asked.
“Of course,” the man responded. “I’m sitting here in a mask.”
Watch the clip below.