An “unverified” and unsubstantiated report published by BuzzFeed about Donald Trump’s alleged behaviour in Russia has stirred controversy and debate and has met with mixed reactions from mainstream media.
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Just 10 days before Trump’s inauguration, the news website posted the unredacted documents on Tuesday, just 10 days before Trump’s inauguration, with a warning that the contents contained errors and were “unverified and potentially unverifiable”.
Following the publication of the report, other media outlets repeated the same allegations, while some critics lambasted BuzzFeed for reporting irresponsibly.
However, the report turned out to be fake and a prank. According to The Gateway Pundit, the original story was created by 4Chan user:
4Chan says these documents were created by a 4Chan user and sent to anti-Trumper Rick Wilson knowing he would act on this tip.
“So they took what I told Rick Wilson and added a Russian spy angle to it. They still believe it. Guys, they’re truly fucking desperate – there’s no remaining Trump scandal that’s credible,” 4chan clarified.
The WikiLeaks also took to the Twitter and refuted the documents’ credibility.
35 page PDF published by Buzzfeed on Trump is not an intelligence report. Style, facts & dates show no credibility.https://t.co/twa8pJMMtP
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 11, 2017
Meanwhile, the Guardian also termed the reports as “unsubstantiated” and unredacted salacious reports.