MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow dropped a bombshell Thursday night that she called a strange story she and her research team combed through from the “inside out.”
Talking about her tip website SendItToRachel.com, Maddow said that she was sent a document that was so classified that it could not be shown and is impossible to validate.
She explained that most who are in a position to authenticate it would refuse to even look at the document by chance that it might be real and might be improperly disclosed because their own classification level prevents them from even looking at something.
“Someone is shopping carefully forged documents to discredit news organizations,” she said.
She walked through cases of The Intercept being skeptical of the Russia scandal, but a new report was more damning.
“The NSA has now learned, however, that Russian government hackers, part of a team with a ‘cyber espionage mandate specifically directed at U.S. and foreign elections,’ focused on parts of the system directly connected to the voter registration process,” The Intercept reported, along with the highly classified document, which they also published.
After The Intercept published it, the person who leaked the document, Reality Winner, was subsequently arrested.
There was also a crease in the document that revealed it was taken out and folded. When The Intercept showed the document the government was able to identify the printer that was used to print the documents.
Maddow showed the documents that she got on her website. She also had the identifying information, a series of dots that a printer puts in documents.
“It appears to be a cut and paste forgery using The Intercept NSA document as a template,” Maddow said. She also even found, what she believes, was a crease similar to the one The Intercept released.
Maddow also revealed that the metadata seems to have been created off of the previous document, which was only publicly available for a few days. Winner was arrested on June 3, The Intercept published the document on June 5 and then the document was sent to Maddow on June 7.
There were other things in the document that were wrong too like spacing, a date in which it can be declassified and the name of an American citizen in the Trump campaign, which is not how intelligence works.
In the last few weeks, CNN staffers were forced to resign after sourcing wasn’t done accurately and a story was retracted. Vice also had to pull stories after sources weren’t accurate. Maddow recalls the early 2000s when Dan Rather was given information that turned out to also being faked and resulted in his resignation from CBS News.
“And, so, head’s up, everybody, this is what I mean by an inside-out scoop,” Maddow continued. “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 on their attack on the election. It is a forgery. Let me caveat, either it’s a forgery or every NSA source we consulted with is wrong. I don’t know if the Trump administration worked with Russia or not…we don’t know whether it happened or not. Not yet.”