My colleague Tyler O’Neil has covered the news that Iran and Russia have apparently obtained the personal information of millions of American voters and are using it to launch a disinformation campaign. The disinformation is in “spoof” emails purportedly from the pro-Trump Proud Boys group threatening Democratic voters if they don’t vote for Trump.
Threatening emails like this — purporting to be from the Proud Boys — are being sent to voters in Florida and Alaska.
— Donie O'Sullivan (@donie) October 21, 2020
It was apparently just too good to let pass for the anti-Trump Lincoln Project. They fell into the honey trap and posted a tweet that they have since deleted, wagging their finger at the Proud Boys for breaking the law.
Don’t these Bozos know the internet is forever?
The deleted email reads:
The Proud Boys are attempting to scare people away from the polls.
This is punishable by a year in jail and a blatant attempt to prevent people from voting.
Let’s find them and make them famous.
“Media did exactly what Iran knew they would do. They assumed fake ‘Proud Boys’ e-mails were real, then used them to attack Trump,” a senior intelligence official told The Federalist in light of tonight’s announcement.
Following the announcement, mainstream media reporters, including PBS White House correspondent and MSNBC contributor Yamiche Alcindor, continued peddling the Iran line:
Ms. Alcindor also deleted her idiotic tweet where she was still pushing the Proud Boys conspiracy.
“Some members of the media are doing Iran’s job for them in spite of literally just being warned not to,” the senior intelligence official told The Federalist.
[DNI John] Ratcliffe also noted that Iran is disseminating other content, including a video indicating that people, including people overseas, could cast fraudulent ballots. “This video and any claims about such allegedly fraudulent ballots are not true,” he said.
The eagerness with which the media pounced on the disinformation reveals the profound corruption of our information infrastructure. Where are the fact-checkers? Where are the “layers of accountability”? The truth is, they don’t really exist except when the media wants to play its First Amendment card against someone who calls them out for their biases and stupidity.
For example, aren’t the media even the least bit curious that the Lincoln Project has ties to Russia?
Co-founder Weaver, a political consultant known for his work on John McCain’s and John Kasich’s presidential campaigns, registered as a Russian foreign agent for uranium conglomerate TENEX in a six-figure deal last year, filings with the Department of Justice show.
TENEX’s parent company is Rosatom, a Russian state-owned corporation that also owns Uranium One — the company that paid Bill Clinton $500,000 in speaking fees and millions to the Clinton Foundation after then-President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed off on the controversial merger in 2010.
For a look at the Justice Department filing that shows @ProjectLincoln co-founder John Weaver was a registered agent last year for the Russian government's ROSATOM, which builds the nuclear warheads Putin has aimed at us, click here. https://t.co/2XNYjeCu3M pic.twitter.com/GgIFHDjhLm
— J Michael Waller (@JMichaelWaller) October 22, 2020
Tyler has a possible explanation for Iran’s disinformation campaign.
Iran has grown increasingly desperate this year. Following President Trump’s assassination of Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s influence in the Middle East has greatly decreased. Due in part to Soleimani’s death, Trump has been able to secure historic agreements between Arab states and Israel. Meanwhile, Iran has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. intelligence sources have reported that Iran plans to assassinate a U.S. ambassador, and perhaps even President Trump himself.
It seems rather plausible the Proud Boys intimidation emails may really trace back to Iran’s efforts to antagonize Americans against one another and weaken Trump’s reelection chances.
To be fair, if you’ve been in this business long enough, you’re going to be taken for a ride by someone or some country. That’s not the issue. The problem is not owning up to it. The Lincoln Project can apparently dish it out, but can’t take it.