Bernie Sanders, who staged a surprisingly long-lasting challenge to Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, was in fact an agent of Russia, whose campaign was a Russian "op" designed to divide the Democratic party and as a result, weaken opposition to Donald Trump's bid for the United States presidency. At least, that was the theory posted Monday morning by Eric Garland, a "strategic intelligence analyst" with a Twitter following of 170,000 — a following that Garland has built almost entirely on the strength of his commentary on the Trump-Russia collusion scandal.
Garland had just 5,000 Twitter followers before last December 10, when he posted a lengthy Twitter thread which he called a "game theory" analysis tying political developments over the past decade to the current scandal over Russian interference in the 2016 election. After that 127-tweet thread, the St. Louis-based Garland — who had previously written for the Atlantic magazine and a few other publications — found himself with more than 25,000 new followers literally overnight, according to a profile of the St. Louis-based consultant by Business Insider.
And unlike his nemesis Trump, whose Twitter Audit report shows that only 52 percent of his Twitter followers are real people rather than fake accounts or "bots," Garland (pictured below) boasts a solid 92 percent "real" Twitter following, according to Twitter Audit.
On Monday, Garland took to his Twitter account to argue that Sanders — who is already being called the "frontrunner" for the 2020 Democratic nomination despite the fact that he is not a registered Democrat and will be 79 years old at the time of the 2020 election — was "an agent of Russian influence."
Read Garland's entire Twitter thread arguing that the Bernie Sanders campaign was a Russian operation by visiting this link.
Garland began his argument by citing how Sanders "exfiltrated" data from the Clinton campaign's voter database, a breach that resulted in the Democratic National Committee briefly suspending the Sanders campaign from accessing its own voter data on DNC computers.
According to NBC News, four individuals working for the Sanders campaign somehow obtained unauthorized access to the Clinton voter database and downloaded numerous files containing valuable voter information. But Sanders then sued the DNC, claiming "breach of contract" by the national Democratic organization.
Garland also points to Sanders chief campaign "strategist" Tad Devine, who was paid over $10 million by the Sanders campaign. Devine previously worked for former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, who is now under indictment on various charges relating political work for now-deposed Ukraine strongman Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Devine worked with Manafort on the 2010 Yanukovych presidential campaign, and had previously worked for Yanukovich when he was prime minister of Ukraine. Devine separated himself from Yanukovych in 2012 after the Ukraine leader began jailing political opponents.
Yanukovich was deposed in a 2014 popular uprising, and is now living in exile in Russia. He went on trial in absentia earlier this year in Ukraine, charged with treason for helping Russia in its attack on Ukraine.
Sanders himself acknowledged in July of this year that he knew Russia was "trying to cause divisiveness within the Democratic Party. That's no great secret."
Among many other Russian activities during the election, Russian hackers stole emails from the Democratic National Committee, releasing them online just prior to the Democratic convention, a move that appeared specifically designed to intensify the anger of Sanders supporters against Clinton, just as she was becoming the first woman ever to receive the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party.
Finally, Garland cited Sanders' quickly offered statement, just one day following the 2016 presidential election, that he would be willing to "work with" Trump, a statement no Democrat had yet made in the immediate aftermath of Trump's stunning election victory.
"Bernie Sanders has been, and continues to be, an agent of influence for Vladmir Putin. He has benefitted from Russian support knowingly and has said nothing," Garland wrote in his Twitter thread. "Bernie is complicit."