#Podesta conspiracy 2.0: Ex-Swedish PM & Soros ally Bildt makes false RT-WikiLeaks claims
Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt has become the latest high profile figure to accuse RT of conspiring with WikiLeaks in the hacking and release of the #Podesta emails.
Monday saw the whistleblowing website leak its 17th batch of messages from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta and, not for the first time over the last fortnight, RT broke the story prior to WikiLeaks tweeting the announcement.
Really impressive by Russia state media to report on Wikileaks releases before they are released. Contacts counts. pic.twitter.com/ZLNCxDrUUa— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) October 24, 2016
Bildt’s tweet claiming RT reported on the WikiLeaks releases “before they are released” drew some exasperated responses from Twitter users who pointed out the clear inaccuracy of his statement.
@Miriam411 It means nothing other than RT saw the new releases on the #WikiLeaks site before #WikiLeaks Tweeted. @carlbildt@michaelh992— OfThePeople (@Of_the_People7) October 24, 2016
WikiLeaks releases new batches before tweeting about it. This myth is laughably ignorant (& disingenuous)@carlbildthttps://t.co/QmsxFz7w0W— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) October 24, 2016
@BenjaminNorton Yes, they're called #Wikileaks NOT #TwitterLeaks! He didn't think they create the page before tweeting it? RT visited site?— Representative Press (@RepPress) October 24, 2016
@charlesadler@carlbildt They released the docs well before the tweets. Anyone with half a brain can find that out. Hillbot propaganda.— Brett Gartin (@BrettGartin) October 24, 2016
Hey @carlbildt I tweeted before @RT_America!! I guess my American passport is a lie. #CallMeNatasha#PodestaEmails17pic.twitter.com/ClUdZjChbW— Tweeting Yarnie (@TweetingYarnie) October 24, 2016
The former prime minister’s tweet prompted clarification from WikiLeaks itself.
Tweet time ≠ release time.— WikiLeaks Task Force (@WLTaskForce) October 24, 2016
We don't always immediatly tweet when we release. Everyone can check our website.
Was that so hard to figure out? https://t.co/zNgWXn9eIv
Bildt is a controversial figure having sat on the board of Lundin Oil – an organization which was investigated for alleged human rights abuses in Sudan in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Two Swedish investigative journalists were imprisoned for terrorist-related offenses while looking into Lundin’s business dealings in Ethiopia in December 2011.
He was also a major supporter of the Maidan movement which eventually toppled the democratically-elected government of President Viktor Yanukovich in Ukraine and has caused continued unrest in the east of the country.
Former Swedish PM & FM @carlbildt inducted as honorary member of #Euromaidan Ottawa (@EU_MaidanOttawa) #Ukrainepic.twitter.com/YSlj8MhCUS— Yaroslav Baran (@YaroslavB) November 26, 2014
Having worked as an EU High Representative for Bosnia in the ’90s, Bildt was one of three people nominated by controversial tycoon George Soros, in an email to Clinton, to be a senior EU mediator in Albania during a period of civil unrest in 2011.
He is far from the first high profile political figure to suggest RT was in some way involved in the Podesta hack.
In early October Christopher Miller, a journalist with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and a freelance writer inaccurately claimed RT had published a story about the email drop before WikiLeaks had posted the documents on its website.
Clinton’s press secretary Brian Fallon made similar claims on Twitter while the campaign’s director of communications, Jennifer Palmieri, accused RT of collusion during a TV interview.
RT beats internet to break #Podestaemails6 & everybody loses their minds (conspiracy theory warning) pic.twitter.com/gGJ8tN2CUw— RT (@RT_com) October 14, 2016
The reality was simply that RT journalists were monitoring the WikiLeaks website and reacted quickest to break the story when the emails were uploaded.
@ChristopherJM@RT_com No they didn't. The release was visible to anyone looking at https://t.co/wzxeh7hZLU well before our first tweet.— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 13, 2016