- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 5, 2017

Sen. John McCain said Thursday that he was a victim of Russia’s “disinformation” campaign on Facebook last year in a phony photo that suggested he met with leaders of the Islamic State.

The Arizona Republican said the photo has “no basis in truth and has been debunked by every major fact-checker.”

“These Kremlin-backed advertisements are just one element of Vladimir Putin’s long-term goal of undermining democracies around the world,” Mr. McCain said.

Russian-linked operatives allegedly paid for thousands of ads on Facebook last year, reportedly with the goal of sowing division in the U.S. prior to the presidential election.

“Other advertisements purchased by the Russians during the 2016 election sought to fuel racial divisions, stoke fear of immigrants and refugees, and undermine support for U.S. foreign policy,” Mr. McCain said. “Putin knows that his power and influence is inferior to ours, so he seeks to subvert us, erode our will to resist, and terrorize us into passivity.”

Mr. McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, vowed that the panel will “continue working to address this challenge.”

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