The notorious Russian “troll farm” that attempted to sow discord online ahead of the 2016 election hired a Black man to have sex with a Hillary Clinton look-a-like to create a fake sex tape, according to a new report.
The Daily Beast reports that a former employee of the Internet Research Agency (IRA)—known as the Russian “troll factory” that was prominent in the country’s efforts to spread disinformation and discontent among Americans ahead of the 2016 election—recounted his experiences working for IRA where he impersonated “Kentucky rednecks,” among other things.
During his time at the agency, Alan Baskaev said the company thought they had found what would become a viral hit: a fake video of a Black man having sex with someone who looked like Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, and framing it as a sex tape.
“You know, there’s this meme about the troll factory, people sitting in black caps, masks. Behind them, there’s a photo of Putin and a Russian flag. They’re so intense,” Baskaev said, according to the Daily Beast. “I don’t know what happened on the day shift, but the night shift was a bacchanal. We did the most ridiculous things we could think of.”
As for his time at the IRA, Baskaev said it was marked by “surrealism.”
“All six months that I worked there it all looked like farce and clownery,” Basaev reportedly said “It was the realest postmodernism. Postmodernism, Dadaism, and surrealism.”
Another video conceived by the IRA, according to Baskaev, was one where a Black soldier shot a copy of the Quarn, the holy book of Islam.
The IRA has been labeled as the center of many of the so-called influence campaigns targeting American voters by Russia ahead of the election. Facebook said it sold $100,000 worth of ads to the firm that mostly consisted of things meant to stir up discontent surrounding gun rights, immigration, gay rights, and racial discrimination. The firm also reportedly used Twitter ads.
You can read all of the Daily Beast’s report here.