In the latest batch of emails released by Wikileaks, Russia tried to hand Trump a big ‘October Surprise’ to use against Clinton. The problem is this smoking gun is a whole lot worse for Trump than Hillary …Oops!
The U.S. intelligence community now believes that Russian hackers are directly responsible for the hacking of the DNC, the DCCC, and other Democratic organizations in an attempt to affect the 2016 Presidential election. They are clearly trying to discredit Hillary Clinton and get Donald Trump elected President.
In this latest round of emails released on Monday by Wikileaks, there was one document in particular that looked very bad for Hillary. The document was taken from the chairman of Hillary’s campaign, John Podesta. As soon as the emails came out, the Russian state-sponsored online news and radio service, Sputnik, was all over it. And they found an allegedly incriminating email from Sidney Blumenthal.
The email was explosive. It connected Blumenthal and Podesta to the subject of Benghazi. According to Sputnik this was the proverbial smoking gun that would take down Hillary. The email said that Hillary was directly responsible for the attack in Benghazi in 2012…thus making her solely responsible for the deaths of four Americans. Sputnik called this the big “October Surprise.”
Here’s the first few paragraphs of the email”
“In a major revelation from the second batch of WikiLeaks emails from Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta it was learned that Hillary’s top confidante Sidney Blumenthal believed that the investigation into Benghazi was legitimate because it was “preventable” and the result of State Department negligence.”
“In an email titled “The Truth” from Hillary’s top confidante Sidney Blumenthal, the adviser writing to undisclosed recipients said that “one important point that has been universally acknowledged by nine previous reports about Benghazi: The attack was almost certainly preventable” in what may turn out to be the big October surprise from the WikiLeaks released of emails hacked from the account of Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta.”
“Then came the money quote: “Clinton was in charge of the State Department, and it failed to protect U.S. personnel at an American consulate in Libya. If the GOP wants to raise that as a talking point against her, it is legitimate,” said Blumenthal, putting to rest the Democratic Party talking point that the investigation into Clinton’s management of the State Department at the time of the attack was nothing more than a partisan witch hunt.”
And as soon as the Sputnik story came out, Trump seized on it. He immediately started quoting the Russian-controlled news site. Trump said, “This just came out a little while ago. I have to tell you this.” He then read directly from the Sputnik story. Trump said, “He’s now admitting they could’ve done something about Benghazi.”
The problem is, the story from Sputnik simply isn’t true.
Kurt Eichenwald, who writes for Newsweek, also found something explosive in the Blumenthal email. He recognized that the email was actually something that he himself had written…totally taken out of context.
“Those words sounded really, really familiar. Really familiar. Like, so familiar they struck me as something I wrote. Because they were something I wrote.”
“The Russians were quoting two sentences from a 10,000-word piece I wrote for Newsweek, which Blumenthal had emailed to Podesta. There was no mistaking that Blumenthal was citing Newsweek—the magazine’s name and citations for photographs appeared throughout the attached article. The Russians had carefully selected the “of course” paragraph, which mentions there were legitimate points of criticism regarding Clinton and Benghazi, all of which had been acknowledged in nine reports about the attack and by the former secretary of state herself. But that was hardly the point of the story, “Benghazi Biopsy: A Comprehensive Guide to One of America’s Worst Political Outrages.” The piece is about the obscene politicization of the assault that killed four Americans, and the article slammed the Republican Benghazi committee, which was engaged in a political show trial disguised as a congressional investigation—the 10th inquiry into the tragedy.”
Once Sputnik got caught in the lie, they took the story down. The story was only reported by Sputnik. So that leaves us with the question, how did Trump get the story? And why is Trump quoting a lie from Russia’s government-controlled news? And when exactly did Trump get that information?
As Eichenwald put it,
“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?”
“For now, though,” he concluded, “Americans should be outraged. This totalitarian regime, engaged in what are arguably war crimes in Syria to protect its government puppet, is working to upend a democracy to the benefit of an American candidate who uttered positive comments just Sunday about the Kremlin’s campaign on behalf of Bashar al-Assad… So no, Mr. Putin, I’m not Sidney Blumenthal. And now that you have been exposed once again, get the hell out of our election. And, Mr. Trump, you have some explaining to do.”
Image: Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, The Kremlin