Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said she blames Russian bots for helping stir up the frenzy set off by Donald Trump over Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem at National Football League games.
Now, she she said, the bots are coming after her. “We already know we are” being targeted, she said Friday on the New York radio show “The Breakfast Club.”
Trump repeatedly blasted Kaepernick for taking a knee beginning in 2016 to protest racial injustice and police brutality. Trump claimed the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who is black, was disrespecting the flag and the military. But the flames over the issue were fanned by Russian bots, Harris said.
Harris referred to “the heat that ended up around bend-the-knee and Colin Kaepernick. Many smart people have said that actually was not a thing,” said the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful. “The Russian bots started taking that on.” The Russians know that race is a particularly incendiary issue among the electorate, she noted. “We have to know when we’re being played,” she said.
Harris didn’t specify issues that the Kremlin may be targeting concerning her. But there was evidence of bot activity in a recent attack on her after her breakout performance in the Democratic presidential debate earlier this month.
She was criticized on social media by right-wingers who claimed she had no right to represent American blacks because her father was born in Jamaica. Certain messages were replicated word for word and posted several times which is often evidence of bot activity.
Harris also warned: “As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I will tell you that we should believe exactly what the Intelligence community has told us, which is Russia did interfere in the election of the president of the United States in 2016 … [and] 2020 … might be worse than 2016.”
Check out what Harris had to say about Kaepernick in the clip above.
The complete interview is here:
REAL LIFE. REAL NEWS. REAL VOICES.
Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.