Thanks to the firm stand taken by @POTUS & Senate & House Republicans, the gov%27t shutdown is coming to an end. The #SchumerShutdown failed. Now that the government is re-opening, Congress can get back to work advancing the President’s agenda that is Making America Great Again! pic.twitter.com/yTajh2WKG4— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) January 22, 2018
The Hamilton 68 website makes clear that hashtags like #schumershutdown or #schumersellout are often not created by the Russian-linked accounts. Instead, they often take hashtags created by Twitter users who are not necessarily linked to Russia and try to amplify them to help perpetuate existing divides.
The site said other top hashtags being heavily promoted by the Russian-linked accounts included "releasethememo", "QAnon", "maga", "Syria", "nodaca", "wethepeople" and "Russia."
#ReleasetheMemo, which the Russian-linked accounts tweeted 480 times Sunday and Monday, saw their heaviest usage late last week (Thursday and Friday), when the accounts tweeted the hashtag more than 3,000 times.
It also gained popularity among Twitter users, including some in Congress, pushing the House Intelligence Committee to release a confidential report written by the committee?s chairman, Republican Devin Nunes.
They argued the report shed light on bias at the FBI and the Department of Justice, both of which have been investigating possible ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.
U.S. intelligence officials and lawmakers from both parties have warned Russia is continuing to try to meddle in U.S. politics with an eye on the 2018 midterm elections. Russia has denied the allegation.
"They're trying to undermine Western democracy," Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Aspen Security Forum this past July, admitting Russia's influence efforts are "quite a bit more sophisticated than they used to be."
"I think all of my colleagues probably are worried or should be worried about it," Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr warned last month.
"To believe that Russia's not attempting in the United States to do things potentially for the '18 cycle I think would be ignorant on our part," Burr said.