At a rally yesterday in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump held a document up in his hand and read from it, the contents of which he suggested drew a direct line between Sidney Blumenthal, John Podesta and Benghazi. This document basically showed that Hillary Clinton was directly responsible for the attacks in Libya. If true, the information might have been crippling for the Clinton campaign.
But here’s the thing about the document that Donald Trump held up: It was a doctored email from Russian hackers. Donald Trump claimed that the incriminating information was emailed from John Podesta to Hillary Clinton. In truth, it was Podesta quoting out of context a Newsweek article written by Kurt Eichenwald. The Russian hackers had manipulated the document to incriminate Hillary.
The Russian government’s propaganda outfit, Sputnik, ran this document not knowing it had been doctored. However, once it realized its mistake, Sputnik pulled the article a couple of hours later. It was not reported anywhere else. This document was only reported in the Russian government-ran media, and only for a few hours.
And yet, here was Donald Trump at a rally in Pennsylvania reading from this document.
As Eichenwald himself wrote in Newsweek last night:
This is not funny. It is terrifying. The Russians engage in a sloppy disinformation effort and, before the day is out, the Republican nominee for president is standing on a stage reciting the manufactured story as truth. How did this happen? Who in the Trump campaign was feeding him falsehoods straight from the Kremlin?
In case it’s not clear what’s going on here, these tweets should sum it up for you:
So basically Trump and Sputnik had the same set of incorrect facts. Only them. Only Trump and a Russian propaganda outlet. Let it sink in— Karoli (@Karoli) October 11, 2016
This is not a conspiracy theory. This is not the work of tin-foil hatters. This is Donald Trump, himself, reading doctored Russian propaganda to his supporters, and the only way he could’ve gotten it is from inside Russia.
No biggie, guys, just proof that the Russian government is attempting to interfere with the American election, and that Donald Trump is aiding them.
The photo of Elizabeth Debecki above is your periodic reminder that The Man from UNCLE is a much better movie than you think. You can follow Dustin on Twitter.