Tonight, on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow invited former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer Glen Caplin to discuss Russian hacking. During the interview, Caplin made a charge against Wikileaks that has often been repeated -- especially on Maddow's show -- but is misleading at best (if not fake news).
The charge: that RT published the Podesta email release a day before Wikileaks. (There are sometimes variations of this charge as well)
No, Podesta Emails Were Not Released By RT Before Wikileaks
It is true that RT, the Russian state-owned network, did in fact tweet about one of the Podesta email dumps before Wikileaks' official account tweeted about it.
However, there is more to this story: Wikileaks posts information on its site before tweeting about it. This is a pattern that they have followed for years. There is sometimes a time lag between the posting of information on the Wikileaks website and Wikileaks' official tweet.
Given that the Podesta emails were a major story and that Wikileaks had been posting tranches of Podesta emails every day, it's not surprising that RT staffers could have been on the Wikileaks website waiting for the latest post. It's even less surprising given the fact that Wikileaks posted each tranche of emails at around the same time of day.
When RT staffers they saw that the day's Podesta emails had been placed on the site, they tweeted about it. Nothing particularly shocking about that.
And although Clinton surrogates often suggest that RT tweeted about the Podesta emails long before Wikileaks, that is not true. RT posted its tweet around 9:10am, and Wikileaks tweeted less than 30 minutes later.
Unfortunately, misinformation like this spreads and muddies the waters; Maddow needs to do her research before repeating this claim.