Man, 2019 is weird.
In a feature today, Buzzfeed breaks down how a false Russian conspiracy theory spread from 4chan to President Donald Trump's idiot mouth, specifically during that now-infamous call Donald had with the president of Ukraine.
The phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky later became part of a national security whistleblower complaint that, over the course of the last week, has led to what appears to be the start of impeachment hearings.
Here's how the weird Qanon meme traveled: “From the depths of 4chan, to the president’s mouth, and then back to the depths of 4chan,” reports Ryan Broderick at BuzzFeed News --
In the memorandum, Trump says to Zelensky, “I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it.”
One large 4chan thread was titled “HAPPENING: CROWDSTRIKE SERVER RELEASE IMMINENT,” another, “What is CrowdStrike, and why does their server seem to be important?” and another, “ULTIMATE HAPPENING: Trump mentions CROWDSTRIKE in Transcript release, Tied to DNC server & Seth Rich.”
CrowdStrike's role in a sprawling conspiracy carried out by the DNC started as wild conjecture on anonymous message boards in the lead up to the 2016 election. The flames were fanned by Russian news outlets like Russia Today and Sputnik News, who both published multiple pieces about it. It was then laundered into mainstream Republican discourse by figures like Roger Stone, Trump's former campaign adviser.
In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News, a CrowdStrike spokesperson pushed back at conspiracy theories about CrowdStrike’s work with the DNC in 2016.“We provided all forensic evidence and analysis to the FBI,” the CrowdStrike spokesperson said. “As we’ve stated before, we stand by our findings and conclusions that have been fully supported by the US Intelligence community.”
For Trump’s online fanbase, for CrowdStrike to make its way into the president’s conversation with a foreign leader — and to be subject of mainstream news articles (like the one you’re reading right now) — is vindication of a yearslong conspiracy theory. Here’s how CrowdStrike bubbled up from the online sludge and into the mouth of the American president — and may become part of the impeachment investigations.
Go read the whole story. It's solid reporting, and a really important thing to be aware of America approaches peak bananas.
PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK. US President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meet in New York on Sept. 25 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.