An NBC News correspondent helped push a theory Thursday that Russia is behind the Twitter hashtags calling former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg a racist.
In a now-deleted tweet, NBC News correspondent Heidi Przybyla retweeted a conspiracy theory claiming the hashtags “#Bloombergisracist” and “#Mayorcheat” began trending in the middle of the night and thus were a work of Russians. The theory, written by “Ms. Krassenstein” on Twitter, pointed out that it seemed to happen around the middle of the day in Moscow, and told people to “stop falling for this crap.”
“Interesting observation,” Przybyla wrote.
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) February 11, 2020
Bloomberg took heat after a 2015 audio showed the former New York City mayor aggressively defending his contentious “stop-and-frisk” policy. He said that minority neighborhoods were targeted “because that’s where all the crime is.”
Bloomberg added that the policing policy worked even though officers had to “throw” minorities “up against the wall and frisk them.” (RELATED: Here’s Audio From The Event Michael Bloomberg Is Trying To Block From Being Broadcast)
The comments were reported at the time by the Daily Caller but only gained widespread coverage this week. Following this, “#Bloombergisracist” began to trend on Twitter. Przybyla didn’t provide evidence backing up her boost that Russia was behind the hashtag.
The NBC News correspondent also claimed that “#Mayorcheat” came from Russia. This began to trend on Twitter Feb. 4 after former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg prematurely gave himself the win at the Iowa caucuses.
Buttigieg also faced massive backlash after it was discovered his campaign gave money to the firm responsible for the app that caused massive delays in the Iowa Caucus results.
Przybyla added later that it appeared a real Twitter account posted the video of Bloomberg and that “despite the trending time observation,” the hashtag trend began after real accounts posted it. She did not explain why she deleted the tweet. (RELATED: ‘I Am Not Afraid Of You’: Bloomberg Responds To Trump’s Deleted ‘Stop-And-Frisk’ Comment)
NBC News did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.