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Trump supporters linked to Steve Bannon pushing ‘fantastical rumors’ to try to ‘pizzagate’ Joe Biden: report

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White House chief strategist and former Breitbart.com executive Steve Bannon. Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

NBC News on Thursday published a blockbuster report on efforts to smear former Vice President Joe Biden.

“Some of the same people who pushed a false conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton that first emerged in 2016 are now targeting Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, with similar falsehoods. Their online posts are garnering astronomical numbers of shares on social media,” NBC News correspondents Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny reported Thursday.

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“The fantastical rumors, which NBC News is declining to repeat verbatim, echo specific plot points central to ‘pizzagate,’ a viral disinformation campaign that predates QAnon but also falsely alleges a vast conspiracy of child abuse,” NBC News explained. “There is an important difference, however. The pizzagate-style rumors in 2016 were largely confined to far-right message boards like 4chan and parts of Reddit. But the Hunter Biden iteration of the same conspiracy theory took off last weekend with the help of speculation from conservative TV hosts and members of Congress. Their theorizing can be traced back to a new website that has been promoted by President Donald Trump and his surrogates.”

“The disinformation campaign appears to have been successful in its goal of generating a smear against the former vice president’s son. According to Google Trends, ‘human trafficking’ is now the third-most common related search term for ‘Hunter Biden’ in the last year, after ‘laptop’ and ‘New York Post,’ which point to search interest around the unconfirmed allegations that a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden contained evidence of crimes,” NBC explained. “But the child abuse conspiracy theories about Hunter Biden that emerged from the fringes of the internet began swirling before the New York Post article and can be traced to associates of former White House aide Steve Bannon. They are now reaching a fever pitch less than two weeks before the election, in which Trump trails Biden in most national and many battleground state polls.”

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Georgia Republicans slammed for only caring about Trump’s voter fraud lies when it threatens to harm them

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Republicans are growing increasingly worried that conspiracy theories about mass election fraud may depress voter turnout and could cost them in the upcoming Georgia runoffs, and according to the Washington Post's Greg Sargent, there's a "vile aspect" to this development that's no laughing matter.

"Georgia Republicans don’t mind when Trump lies about the integrity of their elections in a way that they think will help them," he writes. "They only mind when Trump lies about the integrity of their elections in a way that threatens to harm them."

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Trump’s legal challenge faces another setback in Wisconsin

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President Donald Trump's legal challenges suffered yet another loss in his long-shot bid to overturn his election defeat.

Wisconsin's Supreme Court denied a petition by his lawyers to challenge the president's loss there, bringing their record in such cases to one win and 41 losses, reported the Associated Press.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday morning against the state's Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and various county election officials, asked to exclude 221,000 ballots fro the results over alleged instances of fraud and illegal conduct.

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