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The Woman Who Drew That Buff Bernie Coloring Book Didn't Know Russia Made An Ad For It

"I feel pretty violated and very confused!" illustrator Nicole Daddonna tells BuzzFeed News after an ad pushing her tribute to the Berniacs of the world was in a trove of Russia-sponsored Facebook ads.

Posted on November 1, 2017, at 5:31 p.m. ET

Remember this? Last year the "Buff Bernie" coloring book caused quite a stir during the elections for fans of the senior senator from Vermont.

You know who else loved it? The "LGBT United" Facebook page, which put up a sponsored ad for the coloring book on Facebook during the election.

Nicole Daddona

The ad was one of several released on Tuesday from the Democrats of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

According to the ad's metadata, it cost 114 rubles, was aimed at people 18 — 65 in the US, and was clicked on by only about 54 people. Not a huge con, but enough of one.

BuzzFeed News reached out to Nicole Daddona, the creator of the book, who said that our email was the first she'd heard about the Russians' use of her book.

Nicole Daddona

"I feel pretty violated and very confused!" Daddona, who preferred not to show her face for this article, wrote.

"I'm an artist who thought this coloring book would be a cool way to promote Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential election," Daddona said.

Nicole Daddona

"I have never been approached by any Russian groups wanting to promote this book and would NEVER approve of anyone using my art to push their own agenda without my permission," she continued.

All things considered, Dadonna is taking things pretty well, at least per her email to BuzzFeed News: "Looks like it's time to make 'Buff Bernie' the musical. Any Broadway producers out there?"

"Also, if you want to see what this book is all about and how it's definitely not Russian, get a copy of 'Buff Bernie' on Amazon ... or through Magic Society," she added.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.