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MSNBC’s Maddow Receives Forged NSA Document Alleging Trump/Russia Collusion

In Archive, NSA, Russia, Trump on July 7, 2017 at 1:04 PM

07/06/2017

On Thursday MSNBC host Rachel Maddow reported that her show was sent what she believes is a forged National Security Agency document alleging collusion between a member of the Trump campaign and Russian government.

“Somebody, for some reason, appears to be shopping a fairly convincing fake NSA document that purports to directly implicate somebody from the Trump campaign in working with the Russians in their attack in the election,” Maddow said.

On June 7, an unidentified person sent the document to “Send it to Rachel!“, an online tip line for Maddow’s show.

That was two days after The Intercept published legitimate NSA documents leaked by Reality Winner, a contractor for the agency.

The documents Maddow received appeared legitimate at first glance, she said, but several clues suggested that they were forgeries.

Typos and spacing issues raised eyebrows, but it was secret markings on the documents as well as their contents that convinced Maddow and her staff that the records were fakes.

Maddow said that the document sent to her show appeared to have used The Intercept’s as a template. Printer tracking dots on The Intercept’s files appeared on the document passed to Maddow.

The Maddow document also appears to show remnants from the crease clearly visible on the original copy, created when Reality Winner folded it after printing.

Maddow said that metadata from the documents sent to her show preceded the publication of the documents published in The Intercept. She suggested that it was possible that whoever sent her the forgeries had access to The Intercept documents. But she also theorized that whoever sent her the fake documents could have changed the metadata.

But Maddow said that that “the big red flag” for her and her team was that the document she was given named an American citizen, a specific person from the Trump campaign, who allegedly cooperated with the Russians during the presidential campaign.

“We believe that a U.S. citizen’s name would not appear in a document like this … An American citizen’s name would not have snuck through, not at this level of an NSA report,” asserted Maddow, who said that her team consulted national security experts on the matter.

“It is a forgery … let me caveat that. It is either a forgery, or every single national security official we consulted about this story is wrong about it,” she said.

Maddow went on to point out two recent retractions, one at CNN and the other at Vice News, suggesting that they were the result of a similar scheme to undermine news outlets covering the Trump/Russia conspiracy theory.

It comes as no surprise that MSNBC is running with this narrative. But the opposite could be just as plausible. An anti-Trump democrat trying to get Maddow to report the forged document as fact, since there has been no real evidence thus far to support the Trump/Russia collusion story.

Maddow did not provide details about who sent her team the faked NSA documents, but she concluded her segment saying, “We don’t know who’s doing it, but we’re working on it.”

***

07/07/2017

via Glenn Greenwald:

If you look at the time-stamp on the metadata on the document which the Intercept published, it reads “June 5, 12:17:15 pm” — exactly the same time and date, to the second, as the one on the document received by Maddow:

That’s because time-stamp on the documents published by the Intercept designate the creation date included in the PDF we publish on DocumentCloud: in this case, that occurred just over three hours prior to publication of our article. Both versions – the one we published and the one Maddow received – reflect the same time to the second: literally the exact moment when we created and uploaded the document.

***

via BuzzFeed’s Chris McDaniel:

***

UPDATE 07/12/2017

via TheIntercept:

Glenn Greenwald spoke to the person who claimed to have forged the document Rachel Maddow spent 20 minutes talking about on her primetime MSNBC show last Thursday. The alleged forger also said they sent the document to BuzzFeed News, which confirmed it to The Intercept. Maddow told Greenwald she would not comment, but the person claiming to have done the forgery said there was one small difference between the versions he sent to Maddow and BuzzFeed — one that only the forger would know. That difference was confirmed to The Intercept by BuzzFeed.

“All I did was white out your text. Put in my own and some black bars then ran it through the Photoshop ‘photocopy’ filter. Took me a whole 10 mins,” the alleged forger wrote. “I did it because I want to make sure the media is held accountable to check their sources before they post rather” than “run with anonymous sources only to backtrack months later.”

***

And some additional Twitter beef:

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