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MSNBC reporters investigating whether ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ was targeted by Russian disinformation campaign

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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Wednesday explained the complicated story about a Russian campaign to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller — and how she and her show may be connected to it.

Earlier in the day, Mueller’s team claimed in court that sensitive, non-public materials from one of the special counsel’s indictments ended up on a public Russian server. Those documents were given in discovery — the legal process in which a defendant is given an opportunity to view the plaintiff’s case against them — to Concord Management, LLC, the defendant in the infamous “Russian troll farm” case.

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As Maddow noted, the special counsel’s office is working to limit the materials Concord Management gets in discovery moving forward not just because the documents were likely passed on willingly from someone on the company’s legal team — but also because they were “sifted through” and selectively published in an attempt to discredit Mueller.

“Mueller’s team confirmed some of the documents were legitimate and obtained through the trial’s discovery process,” NBC News reported earlier Wednesday. “Other documents included in the fake leak, which included screenshots of websites and memes that were not created by the [Russian troll farm] Internet Research Agency, were not collected by Mueller’s team.”

At the crux of the bizarre story is a Twitter account named @HackingRedstone that published documents with “folder structures that are unique to the files produced by the government in discovery, including tracking numbers assigned by the special counsel’s office,” Maddow said.

The @HackingRedstone account tried to shop the files, which its operator claimed were hacked via a Russian server, to ThinkProgress reporter Casey Michel and disinformation researcher Josh Russell — and possibly to Maddow’s team as well.

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“There are some indications that I may have been the third target of this effort,” Maddow said, “or at least this show may have been the third known target of this effort by this anonymous Russian Twitter handle.”

“I will just tell you: I’ve nothing exciting to tell you about that,” the host added. “We are still trying to track that down when this indictment came out today and when Josh and Casey started talking publicly about how they had been targeted and how they had been shopped this stuff, that’s the first we heard we might have been targeted in this way as well.”

Watch the host explain the bizarre saga below:

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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 sites, 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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2020 Election

‘I can take five points off him’: Scaramucci launchings SuperPAC to kill off Trump’s re-election

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Former White House press secretary Anthony Scaramucci will be openly campaigning against President Donald Trump.

"I can no longer in good conscience support the president’s reelection," Scaramucci, also known as "The Mooch," wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published online Monday night.

Now he's going even further. Republican strategist Mike Murphy tweeted Tuesday that Scaramucci is "launching and funding a new SuperPAC to run ads against Trump."

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New report exposes ‘sordid details’ of Jeffrey Epstein’s outrageous jail sentence as alleged in new lawsuit

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Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking of young women continued even as he was supposed to be in jail in 2008, according to a new lawsuit detailed in the Miami Herald.

The financier and sex offender pleaded guilty to state charges of prostitution in 2008, mysteriously escaping much more severe federal sex trafficking charges via a non-prosecution agreement that is now under review. Epstein’s treatment by prosecutors has come under close scrutiny because of many such bizarre decisions, which nearly all observers agree constituted a “sweetheart deal” given the evidence against him.

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Gov. Matt Bevin says Kentucky teachers only protested him so they wouldn’t have to go to work

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In a local radio interview on Tuesday, Gov. Matt Bevin (R-KY) appeared to suggest that teachers in his state only launched protests against his administration so that they could get time off from work.

"The same bill came forward again this summer when nobody was in school, and nobody showed up," Bevin told right-wing talk radio host Brian Thomas. "When it's vacation time, people are a little less worked up it seems."

Teachers across Kentucky staged so-called "sickouts" in response to a Bevin-backed plan in the state legislature that would massively scale back teacher pensions — cuts that were ultimately ruled illegal by the Kentucky Supreme Court (in fact, the bill that was introduced this summer was not actually "the same bill," and was a much more modest change to state pensions).

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