Newsweek reported today, “Mr. Trump, you have some explaining to do.” This, after Donald Trump was seen waving a piece of paper, which he claimed was an email, and reciting it at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, today.
The piece of paper was allegedly an email from Hillary Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal. It allegedly contained information that Donald Trump says “admitted they could have done something about Benghazi.”
On Friday night, a story about WikiLeaks was overshadowed by some audio tapes that were reported on by the Washington Post. After hearing that Donald Trump seemingly bragged about objectifying women and taking advantage of them sexually, the latest WikiLeaks dump paled in comparison to the salacious tidbits now flooding the news cycle.
In the latest edition of WikiLeaks dumps, emails of Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta were hacked and released Friday. John Podesta believes he was hacked by Russia and has not confirmed that the contents of the emails dumped by WikiLeaks are legitimate.
He has refuted some claims and stated he does not have the time to go through all of them to verify the others. He released an initial statement.
John Podesta (who was hacked) on U.S. blaming Russia for hacking: Trynig to "help Donald Trump become President." pic.twitter.com/ZHIsKYOjMJ— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) October 7, 2016
He released a four-tweet statement about the WikiLeaks dump later in the evening.
1. While I'm in pretty good company with Gen. Powell & Amb. Marshall...— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) October 7, 2016
3. Don't have time to figure out which docs are real and which are faked...— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) October 7, 2016
4. ...But, for starters, Assange's first claim that I co-own the Podesta Group is completely false.— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) October 7, 2016
The Hillary Clinton campaign also released a statement.
The White House backs the claims made by John Podesta, saying on Friday that they formally accuse Russia of hacking the Democratic National Committee and “a range of other institutions,” reports the New York Times. President Obama’s intention to seek retaliation or sanctions is unclear at this time, but the White House has now officially noted Russian involvement through hacking in an attempt to interfere with the 2016 elections.
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper for the Department of Homeland Security also issued a statement, saying that leaked emails have appeared “on a variety of websites intended to interfere with the U.S. election process,” reports the New York Times.
James Clapper told the New York Times, “We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”
Fast-forward three days to a campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. This morning, Donald Trump got up to the podium, waved a piece of paper in his hand, and began talking about “sleazy Sidney,” reports Newsweek. Donald Trump was referring to Sidney Blumenthal, Hillary Clinton’s associate.
He said, “This just came out a little while ago. I have to tell you this. He’s now admitting they could have done something about Benghazi. This just came out a little while ago.”
Donald Trump dropped the piece of paper on the floor.
The crowd chanted, “Lock her up!”
It is what Kurt Eichenwald of Newsweek is calling “disinformation.” However, that’s not even the most alarming thing about all of this.
What Donald Trump was reciting was an email that contained a vastly misconstrued excerpt of an article about Benghazi that Eichenwald had written in 2015. Today, Trump was selling it as an email from Sidney Blumenthal.
What actually happened was that somebody took an email from the real Sidney Blumenthal off of the WikiLeaks dump, made their own story with it, and changed it using some of Eichenwald’s words from his 2015 story about Benghazi. Sidney Blumenthal was talking about Benghazi, and Eichenwald’s story even, but the context that appeared on Sputnik, and as recited by Donald Trump, changed drastically today.
Eichenwald’s comments from his own story were widely misconstrued in the new document, which was an unreasonable facsimile of an email from Sydney Blumenthal. The final product of this arts-and-craft session was then posted on the Russian news broadcast site known as Sputnik, says Newsweek.
Kurt Eichenwald says it wasn’t even an obvious posting — it was just a link. Most writers recognize their own syntax when they see it copied somewhere else. Eichenwald did when he heard Donald Trump saying them today.
Eichenwald wrote today, “Those words sounded really, really familiar. Really familiar. Like, so familiar they struck me as something I wrote. Because they were something I wrote.”
Hence the title of Eichenwald’s story today, “Dear Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin: I am not Sidney Blumenthal.”
The Trump tapes are horrible. But that Trump obtained Russian disinformation and recited it as fact is terrifying. https://t.co/1d5qvU01Yi— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) October 11, 2016
The falsified email was not up on Sputnik long enough for many to notice. It was taken down by Sputnik once the error was realized. As Newsweek says today, in most cases, everyone would have a good laugh about how incompetent Sputnik was and call it a day.
If only that were the case. However, a presidential nominee then recited that email, which was manufactured by Russia, at a rally today. He also sold it as his smoking gun for locking Hillary Clinton up over Benghazi. Sputnik was virtually the only entity on the planet that even knew that manufactured email story existed before Donald Trump began reciting it today.
The email was very creative. Eichenwald reports that “it linked Boogie Man Blumenthal, Podesta, and the topic of conservative political fever dreams, Benghazi.” It effectively passed all responsibility for Benghazi onto Hillary Clinton.
Somehow, Donald Trump obtained this arts-and-crafts session and sold it as truth at a rally today. Allegedly, this was the piece of paper he was waving around at his rally.
As Newsweek reports, this is bad. It is terrifying enough that the Russians have engaged in obvious hacking, a concept now backed up by the White House and Homeland Security. But now, the Republican nominee is reporting it as fact.
It’s not the first time Newsweek was hacked or interfered with when a major story broke about the same candidate. The Inquisitr previously reported when Newsweek was hacked when Eichenwald reported that Donald Trump had allegedly once broken a Cuban embargo.
The Inquisitr also reported that Donald Trump ally Roger Stone had been in contact with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, and even bragged about it. At that time, the FBI could neither confirm nor deny whether or not they had been in contact with Roger Stone about his comments regarding Julian Assange.
This latest connection of Donald Trump to WikiLeaks is even more bizarre than the first.
Newsweek reports the Trump campaign has not responded to a request for comment. Newsweek also says that America “should be outraged” and “Mr. Trump, you have some explaining to do.” Are you outraged by this?
[Featured Image by David Goldman/AP Images]