Former Steele dossier fan Isikoff says Russia planted story about Clinton hitmen killing Seth Rich
The man who first reported on the discredited Steele dossier has a brand new conspiracy theory about Russia. The idea that DNC staffer Seth Rich was killed on the order of Hillary Clinton was invented by – guess who?
Yahoo News Chief Investigator Michael Isikoff, who is also the co-author of hit Russiagate book ‘Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump,’ has a new example of how the nefarious Russians supposedly subverted democracy in the US. According to him, it was Russian intelligence that started a conspiracy theory about the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich on July 10, 2016 during an apparent botched robbery.
The supposed Russian disinformation showed up three days after Rich’s death on a website called WhatDoesItMean.com. Befitting of the site’s ‘90s design, it is, well, a badly written thriller fiction about Rich trying to expose the corruption of the Clinton campaign to the FBI, and instead being ambushed by her hit team. It is complete with a gun battle “just blocks from the White House” – all based on a ‘report’ by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).
The unbelievable story, Isikoff says, was actually planted by the SVR and propagated by Russian government agents on social media. The ‘Russian connection’ was revealed by Deborah Sines, who was the former assistant US attorney in charge of the Rich case until her retirement last year. She “used her security clearance to access copies of two SVR intelligence reports about Seth Rich that had been intercepted by US intelligence officials.” Sines even wrote a memo about it and “personally briefed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors on her findings,” but for whatever reason they apparently didn’t make it into Mueller’s final report despite fitting perfectly with the narrative about Russian election meddling.
Some US media outlets gladly gobbled up Isikoff’s fresh Russia-did-it allegations. A few took it with a grain of salt: after all, it is factually incorrect and completely misses the point, which is that the US ratings-obsessed and highly partisan media have been increasingly embracing the wildest conspiracy theories in recent years.
Fox’s Sean Hannity, for example, peddled the one about Rich’s murder, but was forced to retract it with great embarrassment. But pointing the finger at him and others in the conservative camp would be hypercritical for many on the left wing of the US media landscape, who were just as zealously pushing the false conspiracy that claimed Donald Trump had colluded with Russia to get elected.
Isikoff played a major role in that one, since he was the first to report the existence of the so-called Steele dossier, a Democrat-funded collection of unsubstantiated accusations against the Trump campaign. It took him a few years to change his mind on the dossier and acknowledge that the press should have had more skepticism about its salacious claims. Wonder how long his new theory will hold.
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