Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff on MSNBC today:
This was one of the more insidious conspiracy theories that arose out of the 2016 election. It had so much traction. It was promoted on alt-right websites, Roger Stone, Alex Jones, all the usual crowd, and, you know, eventually makes its way straight to Fox News and Sean Hannity. But what we found, and it was really kind of shocking, is this started as a Russian intelligence plant.
Within three days of Seth Rich’s murder, when it really was a local crime story — it had gotten no traction nationally, nobody was paying any attention — the Russian SVR, which is their version of the CIA, circulates a intelligence bulletin claiming that Seth Rich was on his way to talk to the FBI at 4 in the morning on July 10, 2016, when he was gunned down by a squad of assassins for Hillary Clinton.
It was classic Russian active measures, what the Soviets did during the Cold War, planting conspiracy theories in various newspapers around the world. In this case, they picked an obscure website that’s a frequent vehicle for Russian propaganda and it just grew from there.
And we traced it all the way directly to the Trump White House, where Steve Bannon is texting to a CBS journalist in 2017, calling, saying huge story, he was a Bernie guy — about Seth Rich which is not true — it was a contract kill, obviously. So you go from the Kremlin straight through the alt-right websites, to the Trump White House.
Exclusive: In a new podcast series @Isikoff reveals that the Kremlin was behind one of the most insidious and harmful conspiracy theories of our time. @SkullduggeryPod and @YahooNews presents “Conspiracyland,” the Seth Rich story. https://t.co/jErGoMRidr
— Daniel Klaidman (@dklaidman) July 9, 2019