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HomeNewsAnti-Hillary Clinton Troll 'Microchip' Testifies in Brooklyn Election Interference Trial: 'He Wanted...

Anti-Hillary Clinton Troll ‘Microchip’ Testifies in Brooklyn Election Interference Trial: ‘He Wanted to Infect Everything’


A notorious Twitter troll known as “Microchip” told a Brooklyn federal jury that he spread chaos, controversy and misinformation online to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the 2016 presidential election.

“He wanted to infect everything,” Microchip testified Wednesday at the trial of fellow far-right troll Douglass Mackey, 32, accused of posting images on Twitter designed to trick people into thinking they could vote by text message.

Microchip, who was allowed to testify using only his screen name, made a surprising figure in the fourth-floor courtroom of the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse.

Portly and bearded, with slicked-back hair, he wore a royal blue sweatshirt, sweatpants, sandals, and socks. He often leaned back, staring up at the ceiling or crossing his arms while he looked at exhibits and answered questions.

He described growing his following online, using psychological tricks to get ideas and memes in front of Hillary Clinton supporters, and tweeting hundreds of times a day.

His ultimate goal, he said, was to “cause as much chaos as possible, so that you bleed out Hillary Clinton and lessen her chances of winning.”

Mackey, a former Manhattan resident who now lives in Florida, is accused of tweeting fake Clinton campaign ads under his popular Twitter handle “Ricky Vaughn” a week before the 2016 election, urging voters to “avoid the row” and vote by text message even though it was impossible

He is charged with conspiracy against rights, which carries a possible sentence of 10 years.

Microchip has pleaded guilty to the same charge and is cooperating with the government in the Mackey case and other FBI investigations.

Douglass Mackey, a former Manhattan resident now living in Florida, is accused of tweeting false Clinton campaign ads a week before the election urging voters to

At times on Wednesday, Microchip tried to keep talking even after objection from a lawyer, prompting Judge Ann Donnelly to lightly tell her to “stay in your lane.”

He testified about participating in group chats with names like “War Room” and “Fed Free Hate.”

“I was in a lot of groups (direct messages),” he said. “We created memes, and one of those memes we created was about voting the wrong way.”

His intention, he said, was “to defraud voters of their right to vote.”

“The hope would be that Hillary Clinton voters would see this and then vote incorrectly,” Microchip testified.

An image released by Microchip on election day showed a photoshopped photo of comedian Aziz Ansari holding a sign that read “Save time, skip the lines, vote from home.”

Mackey was active in group chats, Microchip said. “He was well respected back then, and he still is… he’d say he’s kind of a leader.

“He had good ideas for the meme creation strategy.”

With a Twitter post encouraging voters to vote from home behind him, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) cross-examines witnesses during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism hearing titled

Microchip said it built its Twitter following (134,000 users for one account and tens of thousands for others) by using automated “bot” services and then let human nature do the rest.

“If you see someone followed by a lot of people, they might have something interesting to say,” he said.

He spent about 90% of his time online talking about the upcoming 2016 election, “to destroy Hillary Clinton’s reputation.”

“Did you want her to lose?” asked Assistant US Attorney William Gulotta.

“Oh yes,” he replied.

He described spreading his message through memes and humor, explaining: “When people laugh, they are very easy to manipulate.”

And he expanded on images he found on reddit and the 4chan web forum, which often hosts vulgar and bullying photos and posts.

Microchip described 4chan in more benign terms: “It’s a place for Internet intellectuals to come together to talk about different topics.”

He later clarified: “4chan is used by intellectuals and by absolute idiots, so it’s kind of dualistic there.”

He also discussed the thousands of tweets he posted about the hacked emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, which became the basis for the online Pizzagate conspiracy theory.

Microchip said it didn’t see anything “weird or strange” in the emails, but that didn’t matter.

“My talent is to do the weird and bizarre things, so that there’s a controversy… and then your reputation would bleed to Hillary Clinton,” he boasted.

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Was what he posted true? “No,” she said, “and I didn’t care.”

Mackey’s attorney, Andrew Frisch, lobbied Microchip over their cooperative agreement, citing an earlier statement he made to the FBI in 2021 that his firehose of tweets was meant to flood social media with content, not as part of a campaign. great plan to stop people from voting.

Frisch also noted that Microchip, which is self-employed as a mobile app developer, could lose customers if it is publicly arrested or if its identity is revealed.

And he asked about some of Microchip’s recent tweets, including one from last month in which he announced: “My IQ is so high right now you have no idea.”

The trial is scheduled to continue on Thursday. Frisch said in his opening statement that he expects Mackey to testify in his own defense.

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