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‘It was too stupid’: NBC reporter explains how Russians trying to spread fake Mueller docs flubbed things badly

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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow revealed Wednesday that she and her team were the targets of a Russian disinformation campaign, and it seems she wasn’t the only one.

According to NBC News reporter Ben Collins, those who got direct messages from the Russian accounts found the information either complicated or obviously false.

“Thankfully, I think they thought reporters were stupid,” Collins said. “We’re not this stupid. A bunch of us looked into this at the time. They sent it to a ThinkProgress reporter and a researcher named Josh Russell and they didn’t even know it was to be the hack of the Russian investigation. We didn’t know what it was, therefore, we couldn’t intuit the larger grand scheme that it was supposed to be [Robert] Mueller being incompetent based on this stuff.”

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Court documents released by special counsel’s office Wednesday said that the documents released on a Russian website were altered and falsified to make it seem as if the investigation was either a fraud or being bungled.

“It was a long tail mess-up some time back in November that’s now surfacing,” said Collins.

He called it a kind of “Russian doll situation,” but reporters who attempted to fact-check the information couldn’t even open the first Russian doll.

Watch the full report below:

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Pope Francis struck with unknown illness one day after expressing solidarity with coronavirus sufferers

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Just one day after expressing solidarity and support for coronavirus sufferers, Pope Francis has come down with a virus himself, forcing him to cancel a planned mass in Rome, the New York Post reports.

The unknown illness struck the Pope while the coronavirus spreads across Italy. According to CNN, Italian authorities have cordoned off areas where more than 50,000 people live in an attempt to prevent further outbreaks. Around 400 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy, and 12 have died.

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2020 Election

‘Rich people have profited enough’: New poll shows two-thirds of Americans support wealth tax to combat inequality

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Support for a wealth tax to combat persistent inequality in the U.S. is growing, according to a new poll released Wednesday by TheHill/HarrisX which found that just over two-thirds of Americans favor a tax on the wealthiest households.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents—including majorities of Democrats and Independents—said there should be a wealth tax on billionaires, as Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have proposed.

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Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

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Fears are growing that the new coronavirus will infect the U.S. economy.

A major U.S. stock market index posted its biggest two-day drop on record, erasing all the gains from the previous two months; companies including Apple and Walmart have been warning of potential sales losses from COVID-19 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Americans to prepare for the outbreak to spread to the United States, with unknown but potentially “bad” consequences.

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