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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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North America lost 3 billion birds since 1970: report

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The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by an astonishing 29 percent, or almost three billion, since 1970, scientists reported Thursday, saying their findings signaled a widespread ecological crisis.

Grassland birds are the most affected, because of the disappearance of meadows and prairies and the extension of farmland, as well as the growing use of pesticides that kill insects that affects the entire food chain.

But forest birds and species that occur in a wider variety of habitats -- known as habitat generalists -- are also part of the downward trend.

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Ben Carson ranted about ‘big, hairy men’ invading women’s shelters in meeting with staff: report

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On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development unleashed an anti-transgender rant to staffers, complaining that "big, hairy men" are trying to infiltrate women's shelters in America.

The remarks come after Carson suggested that society no longer understands the difference between women and men while visiting HUD's office in San Francisco, California.

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Former four-star general speculates whistleblower scandal could involve Trump giving Putin an American

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It remains unclear exactly what were the issues cited by the whistleblower who expressed concern at actions of President Donald Trump as a threat to national security, at least one of which involved a promise the president allegedly made in a phone call with a foreign leader.

But former Gen. Barry McCaffrey had a chilling thought about what it could possibly be — and posted his speculation on Twitter:

SHEER SPECULATION. Is it possible that the WHISTLEBLOWER issue was Trump discussing with Putin handing over our former US Ambassador to Moscow Mike McFaul to Russian authorities? https://t.co/0PnQn0upiA

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