In the recent Wikileaks dump of DNC emails there was one from Clinton Advisor Sidney Blumenthal which was simply a cut-and-paste forward of a Newsweek article by Kurt Eichenwald.
This email was then blatantly misrepresent by the Russian news outlet Sputnik as if it was written Blumenthal himself. They later took this down, but it still shows up in Google:
And here's an archived version of the Google cache:
http://archive.is/k8znT (also attached)
With full text here:
22:23 10.10.2016Get short URL
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 released of emails hacked 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.
Blumenthal went on to assail Republicans for failing to adequately research the Benghazi reports in making their case against Clinton on what he saw as a major vulnerability for her candidacy and claims to effective leadership. "Despite all the work that has already been done investigating the attacks, the Benghazi committee has demonstrated that its members either have not read the reports or do not care about the conclusions they reached."
The adviser went further in mocking the House Republican investigation saying, "Its members ask questions of witnesses that have already been answered-again and again. In fact, some of the questions that Republicans say have yet to be addressed have answers that are so well known they already appear on the Wikipedia page about the Benghazi attacks, sourced to the previous government reports."
Ultimately, it was the Clinton confidante's position that Hillary largely dodged a bullet due to the feckless and ineffective research by the House Special Committee on Benghazi to force the truth to light and to be diligent enough to examine the record that was provided by congressional researchers for their use.
Hillary Clinton was interviewed by the Benghazi Committee for 11 hours and often references her ability to stand up to questioning as a sign of her toughness.
Now this could just be spun as a mistake on the Sputnik's part, one that they quickly corrected (although without any public retraction). But then the fake story was very quickly repeated by Donald Trump, as Kurt Eichenwald (the actual author) describes:
I don't have much to add to the mainstream coverage of this story, however it's interesting from a meta view of conspiracy theories. Something happened here. We don't know exactly who did what or why, but obviously there are multiple theories. Just incompetence? Russian propaganda gone wrong? Direct links from the Trump campaign to the Russians? Trump just not caring about the veracity of something so long as it's written down somewhere and fits his narrative?
What's the timeline here?
The Sputnik story html gives the date as 2016-10-10T22:23:12Z, the "Z" meaning Zulu of GMT. That's 6PM EDT
Trump's Rally in Wilkes-Barre was on 2016-10-10 at 6PM EDT.
So if the time on the article is correct, the Sputnik article (which appeared almost nowhere else in full on the Internet indexed by Google until I posted it here) was published almost directly before Trump talked about it.
While Sputnik took the story down, it escaped to at least one news regurgitation site, and once it's out, it's hard to stop. It looks legitimate to the casual reader, so will likely just continue to be reposted, even with the significant media coverage of the fake story.