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Representative Adam Schiff called for Facebook to testify before Congress on Russian online interference

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee also called out President Donald Trump for “juvenile” retweeting.

Rep. Adam Schiff Holds News Conference On Russia Investigation
Rep. Adam Schiff is looking at you, Mark Zuckerberg!
Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, stepped up political criticism of Facebook and other social media outlets and called for testimony about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election using their platforms.

Earlier this week, Recode reported that a Senate committee that’s investigating was already discussing whether to invite representatives from Facebook and Twitter to testify about misinformation spread on their websites.

And today on ABC’s “This Week,” Schiff was asked about the situation by George Stephanopoulos, who noted that the social media giant turned over information to Special Counsel Robert Mueller that “entities connected to Russia bought at least $150,000 in targeted ads during last year’s presidential campaign, information they have not turned over to your committee.”

Last week, as Tony Romm reported, Facebook said that “Russian-controlled pages and accounts spent $100,000 on ads meant to ‘amplify divisive social and political messages’ before the election.’” The social networking giant has not publicly released the contents of those ads, citing “privacy” concerns.

Schiff responded that his committee was also planning on asking for a lot more information from Facebook, noting “there are a lot of unanswered questions.”

Schiff became more pointed as he spoke, adding that he was “distressed that it has taken us this long to be informed that the Russians had paid for at least $100,000 of ads designed to try to influence our electoral process.”

He issued a warning. “We need to know the full extent of their use of social media to influence us from Facebook, from Twitter, from Google, from any social media or search engine,” Schiff said. “They need to be fully forthcoming. And I’m confident they will. I think, frankly, they need to come and testify before Congress because there’s a lot we need to know about this.”

Schiff also commented on a retweet President Donald Trump did today, which depicted him swinging at a golf ball that then hit and knocked over a woman who looked like his Democratic presidential foe Hillary Clinton.

“It is distressing, though, to have a president that, frankly, will tweet and retweet things as juvenile as that,” said Schiff. “It doesn’t help, I think, in terms of his stature. It doesn’t help in terms of the stature of our whole country.”

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