Facebook Exec Says Russia Didn't Impact Election, Trump Tweets

Trump Cites Facebook VP Tweet to Say Russia Effort Not About Him

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump pointed to comments by a Facebook Inc. executive who said the aim of the 13 Russians indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday wasn’t to sway the 2016 presidential election.

Twitter messages by the president on Saturday referenced posts by Rob Goldman, Facebook vice president of ad sales, that the goal of the sophisticated Russian influence operation was to divide Americans and sow fear and hatred. Facebook verified the authenticity of Goldman’s posts.

The indictment on Friday stated that the work of the Russian trolls was "to interfere with the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election."

“The Fake News Media never fails. Hard to ignore the fact from the Vice President of Facebook Ads, Rob Goldman!,” Trump tweeted in a series of messages continuing his long-running argument that the Russian operation had no impact on his election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Among the evidence Goldman pointed in a series of posts was that 56 percent of the Facebook ads bought by the indicted Russians were displayed after the Nov. 8 election, while users still considering who to vote for would have seen only about 44 percent.

“I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was NOT the main goal,” Goldman wrote.

Many people on Twitter said Goldman was trying to suggest that the motive of the operation was more long-term and dire than just a single election.

--With assistance from Sarah Frier

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Riley in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at, Vince Golle

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