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Left-leaning websites unwittingly published anti-Hillary stories created by Russian internet troll factory: report

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According to the Washington Post, left-leaning websites were duped into publishing stories created by Russian operatives that were critical of the Democratic Party and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.

As a part of an investigation into Russian interference in the election that ended with businessman Donald Trump being elected president, the FBI uncovered a well-timed conspiracy to plant freelance writers at popular websites such as Counterpunch, where they were able to attack the Democrats from the left as the election heated up.

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One such author introduced herself to Counterpunch with a February 2016 email reading, “Hello, my name is Alice Donovan and I’m a beginner freelance journalist.”

What followed was a writing relationship with the website that saw “Alice” slowly turn from global politics to criticism of Democrats.

According to the Post: “Increasingly, she seemed to be doing the Kremlin’s bidding by stoking discontent toward Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and touting WikiLeaks, which U.S. officials say was a tool of Russia’s broad influence operation to affect the presidential race.”

“There’s no denying the emails that Julian Assange has picked up from inside the Democratic Party are real,” the person identifying as “Donovan” penned three months before the election for the website We Are Change. “The emails have exposed Hillary Clinton in a major way — and almost no one is reporting on it.”

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The report states that the FBI had been tracking Donovan for months as part of a counterintelligence operation code-named “NorthernNight,”  with the Post adding, “Internal bureau reports described her as a pseudonymous foot soldier in an army of Kremlin-led trolls seeking to undermine America’s democratic institutions.”

Counterpunch, in particular, has since removed election postings by Alice Donovan since she was exposed.

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You can read the whole report here.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump blames market meltdown on ‘conspiracy of weenies’

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President Trump responded to a tanking stock market, a global economic slowdown and an inverted yield curve by suggesting there was a conspiracy by economists and the media to make him look bad.

Trump tried to blame this week’s stock market slide, which was triggered by worries of a coming recession, on the media.

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Trump has spent his vacation golfing, watching cable TV — and panicking about a recession: AP

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While President Donald Trump has been able to golf frequently while on vacation in New Jersey, he may not return to DC well-rested.

"Trump has spent much of the week at his New Jersey golf club, many of his mornings on the links, his afternoons watching cable television and his evenings calling confidants and business executives to get their take on the market’s volatility," the Associated Press reported Friday.

"Though he has expressed private worries about Wall Street, he is also skeptical about some of the weaker economic indicators, wondering if the media and establishment figures are manipulating the data to make him look bad, according to two Republicans close to the White House, not authorized to discuss private conversations," the AP noted.

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WATCH: Rachel Maddow reports on why the NRA is ‘freaked out’ about Oliver North testimony

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow reported on the ongoing scandals engulfing the National Rifle Association on Friday evening.

Maddow began the show by introducing Letitia James, the new Attorney General of New York, who is investigating the NRA.

"But today Tish James ended up in the headlines for an unusual reason. Today she was sued. She didn’t sue somebody or bring a case against somebody. She herself was sued by the NRA," Maddow reported. "The NRA, this sort of powerful right-wing, pro-gun advocacy group. If you have been following news about the NRA recently at all, you know they are embroiled in all sorts of legal drama."

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