Pro-Clinton journalists are spreading patently false claims regarding emails published by WikiLeaks in an apparent attempt to sow distrust in the organization.
On Friday MSNBC national security analyst Malcolm Nance alleged that “forgeries” were found in WikiLeaks’ dump of emails from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.
— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) October 7, 2016
“Official Warning: #PodestaEmails are already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries & #blackpropaganda not even professionally done,” Nance said in a statement retweeted more than 4,000 times.
Nance’s “evidence” of forged WikiLeaks content was a widely circulated “Goldman Sachs transcript” in which Clinton was alleged to have called Bernie Sanders supporters a “bucket of losers.” The transcript was not only fake, originally published 5 days before the first release of Podesta emails, but never came from WikiLeaks’ website.
— The Omnivore (@OmnivoreBlog) October 7, 2016
According to journalist Michael Tracey, the @OmnivoreBlog account belongs to a “prolific pro-Clinton tweeter” known to spread disinformation.
This person (a prolific pro-Clinton tweeter) has a history of deliberately spreading falsehoods with the aim of discrediting Clinton critics pic.twitter.com/x0QsyvSyMR
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) October 11, 2016
Notable journalists including MSNBC’s Joy Reid and The Atlantic’s David Frum also tweeted out Nance’s “warning.”
So to clarify: the tweet that ended up getting disseminated by Joy Reid and David Frum was from a pro-Clinton troll spreading disinformation pic.twitter.com/MJzy9e4CHV
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) October 11, 2016
Despite even Clinton herself admitting at the last presidential debate that Podesta emails concerning her were authentic, Nance’s tweet continues to be used by both journalists and supporters of the Democrat nominee as proof of WikiLeaks’ inaccuracy.
Hillary Clinton just confirmed the authenticity of our #PodestaEmails release of her paid speeches excerpts.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 10, 2016
Such claims reached a hysteric pitch Monday night when Newsweek writer Kurt Eichenwald, another open Clinton supporter, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republican nominee Donald Trump of engaging in a secret conspiracy against him.
The incident began when an email to Podesta from Clinton confidant Sydney Blumenthal that featured text from one of Eichenwald’s articles on Benghazi was falsely attributed to Blumenthal himself by users on Twitter.
Hours after the tweet was shared more than 2,000 times, news outlets such as Russian-owned Sputnik picked up the inaccurate story. The false claim eventually made its way into a speech by Donald Trump Monday in Pennsylvania.
“This just came out a little while ago. I have to tell you this,” Trump said. “He’s (Blumenthal) now admitting they could have done something about Benghazi.”
Sputnik pulled the article offline after realizing they had falsely attributed Eichenwald’s words to Blumenthal. The most logical explanation is that Sputnik made a mistake and that a member of the Trump campaign failed to fact-check.
Instead, Eichenwald, in a series of increasingly bizarre tweets, made blatant lies on what the likely series of events meant – accusing WikiLeaks of collusion with Putin and Trump.
Anyone who doubts wikileaks is working w/ Putin: read how my words falsely became those of a Clinton confidante. https://t.co/1d5qvU01Yi
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) October 10, 2016
Seemingly ignoring the tweet that made the false claim before Sputnik, Eichenwald insinuated that Russia created the fake transcript before secretly passing it along to Trump.
How did Donald Trump come to be reciting false info that ONLY appeared with Russian gov news agency as fact? https://t.co/1d5qvU01Yi
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) October 11, 2016
In reality, Eichenwald’s article – which he has tweeted out nearly 40 times – does not back up any of his claims that WikiLeaks has somehow been “compromised.”
“There is zero suggestion in the article, let alone evidence, that any WikiLeaks email was doctored: It wasn’t. It was just Sputnik misreporting the email,” writes The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, who also notes the following:
By the time he was done, he had misled large numbers of people into believing that he found proof that: a) the documents in the WikiLeaks archive were altered; b) Russia put forgeries into the WikiLeaks archive; 3) Sputnik knew about the WikiLeaks archive ahead of time, before it was posted online; 4) WikiLeaks coordinated the release of the documents with the Russian government; and 5) the Russian government and the Trump campaign coordinated to falsely attribute Eichenwald’s words to Blumenthal.
In fact, Eichenwald literally has zero evidence for any of that.
Regardless of ones views on WikiLeaks, no major news outlet has alleged that any of the latest leaks are in any way false.
As more emails are released in the upcoming days and weeks, supporters of Clinton will undoubtedly attempt to distort any new scandals or revelations.