In a bid to downplay the damage wrought by WikiLeaks release of emails from Clinton’s closest confidante and campaign chairman John Podesta, Hillary’s campaign went into hyper drive attempting to conflate the release with Guccifer 2.0 and other obviously fake Twitter “leaks” in order to sow confusion to prevent journalists from covering the October Surprise.
In a statement by John Podesta on Twitter, the political operative said, "I’m not happy about being hacked by the Russians in their quest to throw the election to Donald Trump, [I] don’t have time to figure out which docs are real and which are faked."
WikiLeaks quickly responded calling on John Podesta to "submit to WikiLeaks another copy of all of your emails. We’ll compare the two identical archives for you" before closing the Tweet with the link to the whistleblower’s submission website.
Retired US intelligence official and MSNBC commentator Malcolm Nance, not officially a Hillary Clinton surrogate, joined the propaganda attempt to muddy the waters surrounding the veracity of the leak writing, "Official Warning: #PodestaEmails are already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries and #blackpropaganda not even professionally done."
The analyst cited and attempted to conflate a post by an unprofessional pro-Trump website of an alleged "leak" of Hillary’s Goldman Sachs transcript – published several days before WikiLeaks and with no connection to the whistleblower organization at all – that claimed fraudulently that Hillary had called Bernie supporters a "bucket of losers."
The problem the media now faces is that in accusing WikiLeaks of forging documents – with no evidence suggesting a difference in protocol, here — they are calling into question the veracity of their own reporting done in conjunction with the whistleblower organization with newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post having teamed up with WikiLeaks in the past.
Clinton campaign spokesman Glen Caplin went further releasing a statement saying, "earlier today the US government removed any reasonable doubt that the Kremlin has weaponized WikiLeaks to meddle in our election and benefit Donald Trump’s candidacy. We are not going to confirm the authenticity of stolen documents released by Julian Assange who has made no secret of his desire to damage Hillary Clinton. Guccifer 2.0 has already proven the warnings of top national security officials that documents can be faked as part of a sophisticated Russian misinformation campaign."
Former national security officials including former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and White House counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke joined the anti-journalism chorus telling news outlets that if they report on the contents of the leak "they are playing into Russia’s hands" and suggesting that the latest round of leaks are fraudulent without providing any evidence.
Notably, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released their formal accusation that Russia is behind the WikiLeaks document dumps less than 20 minutes before the leak leaving some to wonder whether non-political branches of the US government are illegal intervening in the election.