#Podesta conspiracy 2.0: Ex-Swedish PM & Soros ally Bildt makes false RT-WikiLeaks claims
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.
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.
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.
The reality was simply that RT journalists were monitoring the WikiLeaks website and reacted quickest to break the story when the emails were uploaded.