Social media and search engine companies need to testify before Congress on Russian ad buys

A top Democratic lawmaker has called on social media and search engine companies Sunday to testify before Congress after it was revealed Facebook gave more information to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe instead of Congress, about a $100,000 advertisement buy by a Russian “troll farm.”

“Frankly, I am distressed that it’s taking this long to be informed that the Russians had paid for at least $100,000 of ads designed to try to influence our electoral process,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told ABC’s “This Week.”

“And when you look at the content of those ads it really underscores what the intelligence community said earlier and that is that the Russians were really aiming to divide us, to sow discord, to effectively set one American against another on some of the most divisive issues that we have.”

Schiff, the ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the committee had requested more information from Facebook about the matter but there were still “a lot of unanswered questions.”

“There are issues about what legal process we need to use to get this information from Facebook,” he added.

Schiff also commented on President Trump’s retweet on Sunday of an edited video in which it looks like he hits former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with a golf ball.

Trump’s “juvenile” social media use did not improve his stature or the “stature of the whole country,” he said.

“This is a president, look, who has no ideology,” Schiff said in response to whether the post undermines Trump’s outreach to Democratic lawmakers. “He’s not conservative, he’s not liberal. The only consistent theme seems to be he is pro-Trump.”

Schiff continued that the lack of consistency is evident across the Trump administration, whether it was in relation to its stance on climate, North Korea or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

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