The 1.6 Billion Dollar Hoax
Ken Bensinger, Jason Leopold, Craig Silverman
The only problem: The documents were phony. The wire transfers never occurred, and the entire set of documents appear to have been forged as part of an elaborate scam. The fake documents were created, sold, and circulated by a cast of characters that includes a flamboyant Italian who claims to be a baron and a knight, an Israeli who says that during apartheid he engaged in “political subversion” on behalf of the African National Congress, and an American felon who digs up dirt to hurt Trump and other Republicans.
In the slightly more than four months since the presidential election, a burgeoning market for potentially damaging information about President Trump and his associates has emerged. Opportunists have begun dangling such would-be smoking guns — sometimes for a price — in front of journalists, amateur sleuths, and deep-pocketed political activists so eager to damage the Trump presidency that they can be blind to potential red flags.
This is particularly timely, given last night’s MesSNBC-Maddow hype-for-ratings stunt. When Buzzfeed writes about the number of fauxny Hate-Trump “revelations”, you know two things:
It’s gotten really bad! IOW, there’s a LOT of fauxny @#$% out there looking for dupes sufficiently blinded by Trump-Hate that they’ll publish/broadcast it;
There are a lot of Trump-Hating journalists out there who are so blinded by their hate that they’ll believe almost anything, or who wil broadcast/publish any lie they think might hold up for 24-48 hours.