Russia-linked Facebook ads during the political campaign targeted Midwest battlegrounds that tipped the balance and that Hillary Clinton neglected to her own detriment.
The company has handed the ads over to congressional investigators as they probe Russian interference in the U.S. elections.
Some of the ads were paired with sophisticated targeting not only toward the Midwest battlegrounds but toward specific areas of those states, CNN reported.
Donald Trump beat beat Clinton in Michigan by just 11,000 votes, prying away a state that Clinton expected to have in her pocket.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) is introduced by former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight during a campaign rally at the Deltaplex Arena October 31, 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan
She didn’t focus on Michigan until the final days of the campaign when some polling showed the potential it might slip away and her team frantically scheduled visits.
She never went to Wisconsin after the convention, a major strategy error highlighted by post-election analysts, although she ran ads in both states.
Trump was able to break Clinton’s ‘blue wall’ of states that had gone Democratic since 1992 totaling 242 Electoral Votes. Besides Michigan and Wisconsin, he captured Pennsylvania, which Clinton poured resources into.
Investigators are examining whether Russians got any help figuring where to target their efforts, which the intelligence community has said were partly intended to boost Trump.
PANIC IN DETROIT: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets supporters during a campaign rally at Eastern Market on November 4, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. With less than a week to go until election day, Hillary Clinton campaigned in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan
Donald Trump tours the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum on September 30, 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A post-debate poll shows Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton with a seven point lead in Michigan. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton poses for photos after addressing supporters at Grand Valley State University on November,7 2016 in Allendale, Michigan
The company has said there were 3,000 Russia-bought ads in 2015 and 2016, and that about a quarter of them are geographically targeted.
Facebook said about 10 million people in the U.S. saw the Russian-linked ads, but only half of those came before the election.
Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner oversaw the campaigns data analytics operation.
Leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee who briefed reporters on their investigation Wednesday provided no firm conclusion about whether ‘collusion’ occured, an area investigators continue to probe.
One of the Russian-bought Facebook ads showed imagery of a black woman ‘dry firing’ a rifle, which was indicative of the ‘divisive social and political messages’ used in the campaign.
The Washington Post first reported details on the specific ad, designed to stir up militancy among blacks and fear among whites and otherwise divide Americans – as Facebook handed its cache of 3,000 ads over to Congressional investigators Monday.
Other ads showed Clinton behind prison bars – even as Trump supporters at his rallies cheered to ‘lock her up!’
In the aftermath of the Russia ad buy, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has outlined steps that the company plans to take to deter governments from abusing the social network
Even as the Russian admakers had their eye on Wisconsin, Clinton acknowledged overlooking it.
Clinton wrote about the battlegrounds in her book, ‘What happened,’ where she called Wisconsin the ‘one place where we were caught by surprise.’
But she denied ignoring the three states that tipped the results with narrow margins in each one – as she blamed former FBI Director James Comey, the Russians, and others.
‘If just 40,000 people across Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania had changed their minds, I would have won,’ Clinton wrote. ‘With a margin like that, everyone can have a pet theory about why I lost. It’s difficult to rule anything out,’ she wrote.
Clinton acknowledged ‘critics have said that everything hinged on me not campaigning in the Midwest,’ she continued. ‘And I suppose it is possible that a few more trips to Saginaw or a few more ads on the air on Waukesha could have tipped a couple thousand votes here and there.’
She insisted that he campaign ‘knew the industrial Midwest was crucial to our success,’ adding that she and her team ‘didn’t ignore those states.’