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TENNESSEE GOP TWITTER ACCOUNT SUSPENDED AS SUSPECTED RUSSIAN MASQUERADE

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The Russian effort to influence last year’s U.S. presidential election is now hitting home in Tennessee as Twitter suspended an account masquerading as the “unofficial Twitter of Tennessee Republicans.” The Tennessee Republican Party said it tried to warn Twitter about the faux account, @TEN_GOP, in September last year and in March and August this year. It wasn’t until the third warning that Twitter suspended the account. “It wasn’t at all affiliated with this office, so I have no idea of what or who ran that account,” said Candice Dawkins, communications director for the Tennessee Republican Party. The account amassed a 130,000 followers during the election cycle thanks to high profile retweets by people like conservative commentator Ann Coulter and President Donald Trump’s former adviser, Gen. Mike Flynn. The tweets mocked Donald Trump’s democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, and other establishment Republicans like Arizona Sen. John McCain. The Tennessee Republican Party’s former executive director Brent Leaderwood had strong words about the account, saying the sentiments pushed by the account not only went against Tennesseans’ beliefs but were “anti-American” as well. “That account pushed some of the most hateful rhetoric last cycle. Glad its misdeeds are finally being reported on,” Leatherwood tweeted.


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