How Assange & RT meddled in 2016, according to CNN’s ‘possibilities’, innuendo & lies
CNN has released a new ‘exclusive’ report, accusing Julian Assange of conspiring with ‘the Russians’ (including RT) to meddle in the 2016 US election – again.
Citing a report compiled by a private Spanish security company – but not providing any of it – the network basically re-hashed the entirety of the Russiagate conspiracy on Monday, painting a sinister portrait of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, RT and “Russians and world-class hackers” that supposedly made the revelations of Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Podesta emails happen during the 2016 election. It includes speculation, insinuation, selective quoting of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, and even an easily and repeatedly disproven lie about RT.
SCOOP: New documents obtained exclusively by CNN reveal that Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. w/ @kguerrerocnnhttps://t.co/OqC9GBsIKl
— Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) July 15, 2019
Let’s dispense with the last point first. Per CNN: “On at least two occasions, RT even published articles detailing the new batches of emails before WikiLeaks officially released them, suggesting that they were coordinating behind the scenes, which they deny.”
In reality, RT journalists simply noticed a pattern to the WikiLeaks’ releases and kept a close eye on its website in expectation of every new batch. As RT’s Dublin bureau editor-on-duty at the time Ivor Crotty put it, “We merely watched a trend and performed journalism.” It was Clinton’s aides that suggested“coordinating behind the scenes,” which CNN here uncritically endorses.
Yes that is fake news. I was the editor on the team that monitored wikileaks and by Podesta 6 we knew they tweeted at 9am EST each day (1pm Dublin) – so we checked the database by reverse searching and discovered a new dump, tweeted about it, and the conspiracy theorists jumped
— Ivor Crotty (@IvorCrotty) July 15, 2019
The rest of CNN’s sensationally-titled “scoop” openly admits the Spanish papers merely “build on the possibility” raised by Mueller’s report about how WikiLeaks received the emails. Safe words for “unprovable speculation” begin a few lines below the headline, and keep multiplying from there on.
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CNN quotes the Mueller report as having named German hacker Andrew Müller-Maguhn as someone who “may have assisted” WikiLeaks in obtaining the files – something page 55 of the report “cannot rule out” happened, based on “public reporting”, not actual evidence.
None of the “exclusive documents” CNN claims to have are included in this report, which, for an outlet with such an extensive record of lying about WikiLeaks as @CNN, is obviously unacceptable. But even CNN’s claims about the documents say nothing other than “potentially”. pic.twitter.com/x1ORv6NGnO
— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) July 15, 2019
Throughout the story, the CNN authors seem almost incredulous that Ecuador allowed Assange, a political refugee, to have basic facilities like high-speed Internet or the absence of 24/7 snooping – all of which he is portrayed as having exploited to undermine American democracy.
Assange also had visitors – including a “Russian national named Yana Maximova” (who the authors never tracked down, but appear to assume her an insidious figure by the sole merit of her being Russian) and with “senior staffers from RT” such as London bureau chief Nikolay Bogachikhin, who even “gave him a USB drive on one occasion.”
Bogachikhin, one of the very few people who actually responded to CNN’s requests for comment, was open about RT’s cooperation with Assange. RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan joined in by tweeting about her own visits to Assange and listing quite a few more things RT staff brought to him: “Cassettes, floppy disks, flash drives, pieces of paper, technical equipment, candy…”
That’s because RT hosted a show with Assange, and widely advertised it both on air and online. “It’s hard to host a show without equipment, you know. It was an awesome show. Can you google it up yourself?” Simonyan tweeted.
CNN, meanwhile, repeats the literal smear – not substantiated by a single photo or video clip since Assange’s arrest in April – that the journalist “smeared feces” on the embassy walls.
Wrapping up the piece, CNN finds it sinister that the Russian government denounced the arrest as a violation of Assange’s human rights and dignity – the ultimate proof Assange “still has allies in Russia.”
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