WASHINGTON — The leaked recordings were hardly a political bombshell: The apparent phone conversations between Joe Biden and Ukraine’s then-president largely confirm Biden’s account of his dealings in Ukraine.
But the choppy audio, disclosed by a Ukrainian lawmaker whom U.S. officials described Thursday as an “active Russian agent” who has sought to spread online misinformation about Biden, was nonetheless seized on by President Donald Trump as well as his supporters to promote conspiracy theories about the Democratic nominee. Social media posts and videos about the recordings have been viewed millions of times, according to an Associated Press analysis, even though Trump’s own administration says they rely on “false and unsubstantiated narratives.”
The audio’s proliferation on social media shows how foreign operations aimed at influencing the U.S. election are still easily reaching Americans, despite efforts by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to rein in such meddling.
Since there’s no evidence the heavily edited recordings have been stolen or were entirely fabricated,