Former Michigan Gov. Claims Russian Ads Contributed To Hillary’s Loss

REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

Geoff Harbaugh Contributor
Font Size:

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm appearing on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” said Russian ads with pictures of celebrities saying “Text your vote here,” and “First-time voters vote on Wednesday,” contributed to Hillary Clinton’s loss in Michigan.

Host Chris Cuomo was discussing the midterms with Granholm and CNN political commentator David Urban: “It’s all about turnout,” he said. “That’s what’s going to determine the midterms. It always does.”

Granholm answered, “Chris, that’s very true. But let’s be clear, that when you see Russian interference like we saw today through Facebook, Russian interference against Claire McCaskill, and Russian interference at writ large in 2016, getting out the vote is gonna be super important. But there was a poll out today that showed there are some Republicans who think that interference by the Russians to help the Republicans is not such a bad thing.”

Urban disagreed, “You can’t blame the Russians on Democrats’ poor performance if they win or lose. I mean, you have to accept some responsibility for not having a coherent message across your party.”

Urban added, “You can’t blame the Russians for Democrats’ failure.”

Granholm shouted, “Yes, I can blame the Russians for interfering in this election, and every single intelligence agency says they did interfere.”

Urban interrupted, “You can blame them for trying to interfere.”

The former governor passionately responded, “They sent thousands and thousands of ads to social media in places like Detroit, where they held up pictures of Aziz Ansari with a text saying, hey avoid the lines, text your vote here. If that’s not a voter suppression ad, I don’t know what is. When Oprah Winfrey, photoshopped, holds up a sign … that says first-time voter, you vote on Wednesday. Those are voter suppression ads. Those were issued hugely in 2016 in Michigan. Hillary Clinton lost by 11,000 votes. The purpose of the Russian intervention is to cause people to be, not just divided, but to cause them to stay home. And that’s what happened. That’s one of the reasons.”

Granholm appears to be mentioning a widely circulated tweet of Aziz Ansari holding a sign asking “voters to tweet their vote,” not “text their vote.”

However a Google search for the Oprah Winfrey photoshopped ad turned up few relevant results. Same for her claim about ads telling first-time voters “to vote on Wednesday.”

Granhom also added, “I can hardly wait until November comes so that we can give him (Trump) at least the first taste of the back of our hand and 2020 the rest.”