Russian trolls reportedly tried to sink Romney State Dept. bid

Kremlin-linked operatives also reportedly pushed Trump toward candidates more favorable to Russia.

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Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate, was reportedly a target of Russian-backed internet trolls after the 2016 election.

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Russian-backed internet trolls mounted an effort on Twitter to prevent Mitt Romney from being appointed secretary of State after Donald Trump won the 2016 US election, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The Kremlin-linked operatives called Romney a "two-headed snake" and "globalist puppet," promoted a rally outside Trump Tower and spread a petition to block Romney's appointment, according to a Journal analysis of now-deleted tweets. Romney had called Russia the US's top "geopolitical foe" in the 2012 elections.

"It's not surprising that the Russian troll operation tried to do whatever it could to prevent [Romney] from being secretary of state," Ryan Williams, a political strategist and former Romney spokesman, told the Journal.

Trump eventually appointed Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state.

The Journal's findings come as The New Yorker reports that Russia allegedly tried to pressure Trump to consider a candidate more favorable to Russian interests.

The revelations further underscore Russian-backed efforts to sow discord among Americans during and after the 2016 US election. The US last month indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups accused of using social media to tamper with the 2016 election.

Trump eventually appointed Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to the position.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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