WASHINGTON — Federal investigators are examining whether far-right news sites played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that dramatically widened the reach of news stories — some fictional — that favored Donald Trump's presidential bid, two people familiar with the inquiry say.

According to the FBI, these websites may have played a role in influencing the election by working with the Russians to publish timely pro-Donald Trump stories with the help of bots.

The bots accomplished this by blitzing social media websites like Twitter and Facebook and littering them with links to pro-Trump news articles. The majority of the stories were false or contained mixed facts. They also carried links to WikiLeaks and several of the leaked documents that were damaging to the Democrats

InfoWars is published by Alex Jones, a Texas-based conservative talk show host known for embracing conspiracy theories such as one asserting that the U.S. government was involved in the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. During the 2016 campaign, InfoWars.com was a loyal Trump public relations tool. Trump was on Jones' show and praised his reporting.

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