Russia sent payments quite literally labelled ‘to finance election campaign of 2016’
Bad news, America: The terrifying 2016 election meddling plot continues to thicken in such a way that’s sure to make you bang your head against your desk and scream “HOW?”
In the saga’s latest installment, a Buzzfeed News report alleges that over 60 payments were sent from the Russian foreign ministry to its embassies with not-so-subtle descriptions like, quite literally, “to finance election campaign of 2016.”
The transaction news comes after months of speculation about Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election and the country’s involvement with Donald Trump’s campaign.
Between the discovery of around 3,000 Russia-linked Facebook ads that reached as many as 126 million users, and uncovered emails with Donald Trump Jr., things already weren’t looking too good for Russia.
But literally announcing that you were providing funding for the 2016 election in your transactions? That leaves verrrrrrryyyyyy little room for denial, don’t you think?
The wire transfers, which reportedly amounted to more than $380,000 in total, came from a Kremlin-backed Russian bank and are currently being reviewed by the FBI, as Buzzfeed stated. They all referenced financing the 2016 election in the memo lines and were sent to Russian embassies in nearly 60 countries between Aug. 3 and Sept. 20, 2016, prior to election day.
Though it’s unclear which election Russia was wiring funds to support or what those funds were used for, the country’s ties to the U.S. election led some to believe this was Trump-related.
People began comparing the blatantly obvious, amateur move to those people who write overly specific or painfully honest subject lines when submitting Venmo transactions.
And others were simply dumbfounded by the discovery.
2016: How did Russia mastermind Trump’s election? Time for some game theory!
2017: FBI reports that Russia sent 60 invoices labeled “crime money, for doing crimes”
— Kelsey D. Atherton (@AthertonKD) November 14, 2017
While it is fun to take a step away from the constant panic of 2016/2017 politics and laugh over the possibility that Russia could be that careless, as Buzzfeed notes, the U.S. wasn’t the only one with an election around that time.
Seven nations, including Russia, had elections so it’s possible the money was simply funding one of those campaigns.
Either way, the FBI is on the case.