Right speculated that 2015 armed forces exercise was attack on TexasMichael Hayden: success urged Moscow to target election

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Main Street in Bastrop, Texas, is quiet ~ above the first day the the Jade Helm 15 military exercise ~ above 15 July 2015. Texas was not, together it rotate out, invaded by the federal government. Photograph: Jay Janner/Rex Shutterstock
Main Street in Bastrop, Texas, is quiet on the very first day the the Jade Helm 15 army exercise on 15 July 2015. Texas was not, as it turned out, invaded by the federal government. Photograph: Jay Janner/Rex Shutterstock

Speculation about a US armed forces exercise that led part Texans to fear that the Obama administration was plotting martial law was stoked by a Russian disinformation campaign, according to a former director the the CIA.

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Russian bots to be so successful in planting wild ideas during a army exercise referred to as Jade Helm in 2015 that Russian society media bandits launched an additional offensive the adhering to year, attempting to influence the presidential choice itself, Michael Hayden told MSNBC.


“There to be an exercise in Texas called Jade Helm 15 that Russian bots and the American alt-right media encouraged most – numerous – Texans that Obama planned to round up politics dissidents, and also it gained so much traction the the governor of Texas had to call up the to watch the federal exercise to keep the population calm,” said Hayden, who was CIA manager from 2006 to 2009 ~ serving together director the the nationwide Security Agency.

“At that point I’m figuring the Russians room saying: ‘We deserve to go huge time.’ and at that point I think they do the decision: we’re going to play in the electoral process,” Hayden claimed on Morning Joe on Wednesday.

The two-month summer exercise across multiple says was described as a huge but regime realistic training event by the military, but it drew details scepticism in Texas. The state, residence to few of the country’s largest bases, to be designated together “hostile” are for the objectives of the exercise.


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Michael Hayden: ‘I’m figuring the Russians room saying: ‘We can go big time’ … ns think they make the decision: we’re going come play in the electoral process.’ Photograph: louis Alvarez/AP Rumours spread over the internet, currently revealed as apparently fuelled by Russian bots, or fake social media accounts regulated by people or software program applications. This were no discouraged by high-profile figures including Ted Cruz, the us senator, who claimed he construed “the reason for concern and also uncertainty”, and the actor chuck Norris, who described it as “likely an ext than a military exercise”.

Louie Gohmert, a Republican congressman from Texas who serves on a homeland security subcommittee, likewise voiced suspicion. “Once ns observed the map showing ‘hostile’ ,‘permissive’ and ‘uncertain’ states and also locations, i was rather appalled the the hostile locations amazingly have a Republican majority, that ‘cling to your guns and religion’ and believe in the sanctity the the United states constitution,” that said, echoing a jibe by Barack Obama in ~ small-town voters during his 2008 election campaign.

Gohmert continued: “When the federal federal government begins, also in practice, gamings or exercises, to consider any type of US city or state in ‘hostile’ control and also trying to take back it, the message becomes very calloused and also suspicious.”

Texas’s Republican governor, Greg Abbott, lent a veneer of legitimacy come the cultivation hysteria as soon as he ordered the Texas state guard to screen Jade Helm “to safeguard Texans’ constitution rights, personal property and civil liberties”.

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Among the most extreme theories were that empty Walmarts would be turned into concentration camps and ice cream trucks used as portable morgues. The exercise, though, passed off without incident.