Russian online trolls tried to brand Mitt Romney a “two headed snake” and a “globalist puppet” as they flooded the internet in late 2016 in a bid to prevent him from becoming Donald Trump's secretary of State. An analysis by The Wall Street Journal shows now-deleted posts urged people to join a protest outside Trump Tower and also shared a petition in an attempt to block the 2012 presidential candidate from being chosen for the top job shortly after Trump’s election victory. The analysis comes alongside a report in The New Yorker that cites a Christopher Steele memo—based on contact with a “senior Russian official”—alleging that the Kremlin pressured Trump to choose a candidate for the job who was more favorable to Russia than Romney was perceived to be. Trump ultimately chose former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who previously said he has a “very close relationship with” Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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