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Examples of ads purchased by Russian actors that appeared on Facebook during 2016. Images: House Intelligence Committee

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released examples of Facebook ads paid for by Russian actors during this afternoon's hearing with Facebook, Google and Twitter. Ads were displayed in the hearing room to drive home their concern about foreign governments "weaponizing" social media content.

The details: According to the metadata attached to the ads, they targeted both Republicans and Democrats and were paid for in rubles. The ads were intended to stoke discord on divisive issues such as religion, racial issues and immigration.

Facebook's chief lawyer said Wednesday afternoon that the company had not found overlap between the targeting used by Russian trolls meddling in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign. His remarks were in response to questions at the third hearing of the last 48 hours for Facebook, Twitter and Google on how Russia-bought ads and content spread on their platforms.

"We have not seen overlap in the targeting that was relatively rudimentary used in the [Russian troll farm Internet Research Agency] ads that we've disclosed and any other advertiser that's been operative on the site, including the Trump campaign," said Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch. Twitter and Google didn't provide definitive answers.

Go deeper: Politico breaks down the individual ads with corresponding specifics of when they ran, where they were targeted, and how many people saw them and clicked on them.

What's next: Lawmakers have pushed the companies to make more information about the foreign-bought ads public. House Intelligence Committee leaders plan to release the Russian-bought ads that appeared on Twitter and Google. The companies said they would benefit from the government sharing information with them as well in order to effectively identify inappropriate content and ads.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

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Go deeper

Updated 11 mins ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

The latest: The president called Doocy Monday evening, the reporter told Fox's Sean Hannity. "He cleared the air and I appreciated it. We had a nice call," Doocy said when asked whether the president apologized, adding: "I don't need anyone to apologize to me."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker