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Monday, February 19, 2018

Who Started #BernieWouldHaveWon?

I was working on a much larger story about the Mueller indictment drop, and stumbled on something interesting.

The first known use of the #BernieWouldHaveWon hashtag was this tweet:
This was, likely not coincidentally, the day after Wikileaks dropped the DNC e-mails and the day that Bernie supporters started turning hard against Hillary at the Convention.

Who is Austin Jackson? Clearly not the person in his profile picture. His avatar goes back at least to a roleplaying website post from 2008 which has this description under the photo:

"jonathon. likes to be called jon. he's you're average 18 year old surfer dude. he eats, sleeps,
lives, and loves the waves. he wastes his free time at the beach scoping out the hott surfer
chicks so he can go over and flirt with them. xd he's had a lot of relationships because he's a
freaking playerr."

(An aside -- the Google image search used to find this out had me going through an IMDB list called "HOT GUYS AND CUTE BOYS!")

I *think* the kid in the picture is an actor; if anyone knows who it is, let me know.

Anyway, "Austin Jackson's" Twitter feed is pretty pro-Trump and skeptical of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

His last tweet until now was this past December 10th:

But forget 2017. I'm interested in 2016. After starting that hashtag (he has well over 20,000 followers so it got around), he tried to keep the DNC e-mails story alive for months, bashed Hillary and Obama, and cheerled for Trump. He also posted many anti-abortion tweets (so did he really give a fuck about the Democratic Party?), and bizarrely (this is consistent with his profile description) interspersed tweets about various forms of Oreo cookies.

Now it gets good. On October 19th, 2016, he tweeted this:

One week later, on the same day that Rudy Giuliani spilled the beans on that unrest at the NY FBI office which resulted in the Comey letter two days later, "Jackson" let out his final three tweets until after Election Day. One was anti-abortion, and here were the other two:

And the final one:

"times up."

Did "Austin Jackson" know what was coming?

He did not tweet again until right after the election, where he retweeted these two tweets:

He did not tweet again until February 2017, and his next tweet included the hashtag #makeamericagreatagain.

To sum up:

  • A pro-Sanders/anti-Clinton hashtag that remains in use to this day (still nearly 900 times this week) was tweeted out by a ridiculously fake pro-Trump Twitter account
  • That account, which features the picture of a teenage boy, tried to divide the Democratic Party
  • The account appeared to insinuate something was coming down the pike against Hillary right before it did, and then disappeared, only reappearing to briefly gloat about Trump the day after the election and not returning again for months

This may be a step too far, but somehow, this calls to mind the @TruePundit account, which appeared to be coming from within the FBI's New York office in 2016. Seth Abramson has chronicled that here:

In light of the news that Mueller's indictment states that the Russians deliberately tried to help Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein, what the fuck does this all mean?

I've seen little hints here and there that the Comey letter drop, driven by the New York FBI office, and the Wikileaks/Russian drops are linked. Could this be further evidence? A Russian bot that knew in advance about the Comey letter?

Can anyone else put this together? My brain hurts.

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