Russian bots have struck again – this time wading into the war of words over who is responsible for the US government shutdown.
At midnight on Friday the senate failed to reach an agreement over the budget, the hashtag #SchumerShutdown quickly spread across Twitter on Sunday night.
The term 'Schumer Shutdown' was used by Trump and the White House, and later Twitter accounts used the hashtag to assign blame to Democrat senators, among them New York's Chuck Schumer, for the shutdown, following the example of the President.
While Trump blamed the Democrats for putting politics above their country, Democrats blamed Trump for rejecting bipartisan compromise deals. New York Democrat senator Chuck Schumer referred to it on the Senate floor as the "Trump Shutdown":
The blame should crash entirely on President Trump's shoulders.
This will be called the Trump shutdown.
This will be called the Trump shutdown because there is no one, no one, who deserves the blame for the position we find ourselves in than President Trump.
It turns out the #SchumerShutdown narrativeis seemingly being pushed by Russian bots.
The hashtag was used 738 times by Russian-oriented accounts in the last 48 hours, according to data from the organisation.
The group, which monitors “600 Twitter accounts that are linked to Russian influence campaigns” found that the hashtag #ReleasetheMemo –relating to a memo about the FBI and the department of Justice – was the second most promoted at that time.
Republicans blame the shutdown on Schumer and his insistence for a compromise on keeping the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children.