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Propaganda effort fooled conservative sites into printing op-eds from nonexistent ‘experts’: report

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On Monday, The Daily Beast documented an elaborate Middle Eastern propaganda scheme that tricked a number of right-leaning websites into publishing articles from nonexistent national security “experts.”

The scheme, wrote Adam Rawnsley, included “a network of at least 19 fake personas that has spent the past year placing more than 90 opinion pieces in 46 different publications. The articles heaped praise on the United Arab Emirates and advocated for a tougher approach to Qatar, Turkey, Iran and its proxy groups in Iraq and Lebanon.”

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One such fake persona, wrote Rawnsley, was “Raphael Badani.”

“As a Newsmax ‘Insider’ columnist, he has thoughts about how Iraq needs to rid itself of Iranian influence to attract investment and why Dubai is an oasis of stability in a turbulent region. His career as a ‘geopolitical risk consultant and interactive simulation designer’ and an ‘international relations senior analyst’ for the Department of Labor have given him plenty of insights about the Middle East. He’s printed those insights at a range of conservative outlets like the Washington Examiner, RealClear Markets, American Thinker, and The National Interest. Unfortunately for the outlets who published his articles and the readers who believed them, Raphael Badani does not exist.”

In addition, some right-wing personalities have promoted these articles on social media, including Students for Trump co-founder Ryan Fournier:

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According to the report, Twitter “suspended Badani’s account along with 15 others after The Daily Beast shared the results of its investigation into the network for violating the company’s ‘policies on platform manipulation and spam.'”


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The View’s Whoopi Goldberg has to explain to Meghan McCain the obvious reason why Trump’s Supreme Court nominee won’t get Kavanaugh’ed’

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"The View" co-hosts began their Tuesday show talking about the potential Supreme Court appointee and concerns that they have about Amy Coney Barrett talking about her job being about expanding the kingdom of God.

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The tumult following Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death previews things to come

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On Friday evening, just before 7:30 p.m., the U.S. Supreme Court announced that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a pioneer in using the law to advance gender equity, had died from complications due to metastatic pancreatic cancer just six weeks ahead of the presidential election.

The death of Ginsburg, who had battled various forms of cancer over the years, was not altogether surprising.

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Trump knew how bad COVID-19 was in January — but called it ‘good’ because he could avoid shaking ‘disgusting’ voters’ hands: ex-Pence aide

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Olivia Troye, a former White House aide who worked for Vice President Mike Pence's office, is sounding off with more details about the Trump administration's early knowledge about the severity of the coronavirus.

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