Many expected the recent Wikileaks release containing excerpts of Hillary Clinton’s private emails to be a contentious issue during the second presidential debate. When the subject was broached, Donald Trump took the opportunity to hammer Clinton on an email supposedly from Sidney Blumenthal, American journalist, activist, writer, former political aide to Bill Clinton and long-time confidante of Hillary Clinton, to Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta which showed what happened in Benghazi was entirely the fault of Hillary Clinton. This subject has been a huge campaign point for Donald Trump, part of the larger campaign to discredit Clinton’s foreign policy record and establish her as untrustworthy. Now thanks to these previously unreleased emails her complicity in the tragedy had finally been uncovered.
There is one problem, however. Below is a sampling of why Trump’s claim is problematic and the rest is here.
Kurt Eichenwald at Newsweek writes: “To understand the full importance of the false Blumenthal story—and how much Putin and his Kremlin cronies must have been dancing with delight—I have to quote the top few paragraphs”:
In a major revelation from the second batch of WikiLeaks emails from Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta it was learned that Hillary’s top confidante Sidney Blumenthal believed that the investigation into Benghazi was legitimate because it was “preventable” and the result of State Department negligence.
In an email titled “The Truth” from Hillary’s top confidante Sidney Blumenthal, the adviser writing to undisclosed recipients said that “one important point that has been universally acknowledged by nine previous reports about Benghazi: The attack was almost certainly preventable” in what may turn out to be the big October surprise from the WikiLeaks release of emails from the account of Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta.
“Clinton was in charge of the State Department, and it failed to protect U.S. personnel at an American consulate in Libya. If the GOP wants to raise that as a talking point against her, it is legitimate,” said Blumenthal, putting to rest the Democratic Party talking point that the investigation into Clinton’s management of the State Department at the time of the attack was nothing more than a partisan witch hunt.
Here’s the problem:
“Those words sounded really, really familiar. Really familiar. Like, so familiar they struck me as something I wrote. Because they were something I wrote.
“The Russians were quoting two sentences from a 10,000-word piece I wrote for Newsweek, which Blumenthal had emailed to Podesta. There was no mistaking that Blumenthal was citingNewsweek—the magazine’s name and citations for photographs appeared throughout the attached article. In fact, the email was 75 pages long when printed out. The sentences quoted by the Russians were on page 19, following 22 different mentions that the words came from Newsweek.”