Donald Trump stories in explosive document were invented by 4chan, users claim

The document has been passed around the highest levels of legislators and intelligence agencies, reports claimed, and may even have been used in briefings for Mr Trump and President Obama

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 11 January 2017 13:43 GMT
President-elect Donald Trump speaks to reporters following his meeting with Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group, meeting at Trump Tower
President-elect Donald Trump speaks to reporters following his meeting with Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group, meeting at Trump Tower (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The information in an explosive document that claims Donald Trump was groomed by Russia was made up by an online forum, it has been claimed.

The documents allege secret contact between the Trump campaign and Moscow for at least five years and alleged information involving Mr Trump and prostitutes. The allegations were included in a series of memos compiled by the supposed ex-operative initially as opposition research on Mr Trump. Mr Trump has vehemently denied all allegations calling the release "fake news" and a "political witch hunt".

The potentially highly embarrassing and damaging claims have been made public just nine days before Mr Trump's inauguration.

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They were made public hours after news reports that Trump had been briefed by intelligence officials about the existence of the dossier on him by the US website BuzzFeed, which published the document in full. It published despite its editor noting that there is reason to doubt the truth of them.

The document is said to have been prepared by political opponents of Mr Trump, and was put together by someone who is thought to be a former spy.

But two of the internet forums most prominently involved in supporting Donald Trump now claim that they fabricated the stories found in the document.

Users of both 4chan and Reddit forum r/The_Donald have suggested that they planted the document as a fake.

Users in particular point to a post apparently suggesting that a 4chan user had passed on false information to journalist Rick Wilson and that it was now being published.

“So they took what I told Rick Wilson and added a Russian spy angle to it,” the 4chan user posted on 1 November, a week before the election and long before the document was posted online.

“They still believe it. Guys, they're truly fucking desperate - there's no remaining Trump scandal that's credible.”

Another post included a person claiming that they had convinced journalists on Twitter that there would be “an October surprise on Trump this Friday”.

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But none of the 4chan posts actually seem to reference the content of the faked document. Nor do they give any detail on the document itself, or how the story would have made its way from a journalist to intelligence agencies.

Mr Wilson has dismissed the claims, writing that he neither got information from 4chan users nor was he the source for the document published by BuzzFeed.

“You’re wrong if you believe 1. What we had came from [4chan forum] /pol 2. That I was Buzzfeed’s source,” he tweeted. “Try again, boys.”

He sent another tweet claiming the “information was out there looooong before the 4chan posts”.

Mr Wilson has been disliked by 4chan users since he mocked them during a TV appearance, describing them as “childless single men who masturbate to anime”. Users of the website, which allows people to publish anonymously, have published spurious claims about well-known people before as a way of getting revenge.

Whether or not the stories were invented by 4chan, many of the claims in the document are demonstrably untrue, a point that BuzzFeed made while still opting to publish the document. The report misspells the name of one central company, for instance, and makes untrue claims about a specific area outside Moscow.

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