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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, in Ambridge, Pa. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump used a false Russian news agency story to slam Hillary Clinton at a rally


At a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Monday, Donald Trump held a document in his hand, claiming it was an email revealed by WikiLeaks.

The email was, according to Trump, from Sidney Blumenthal, one of Hillary Clinton's top aides. In it, Blumenthal allegedly said "they could have done something about Benghazi."

However, that email was proven to be quoting not Blumenthal, but a 2015 Newsweek article written by Kurt Eichenwald. The source of that misinformation was a Russian news agency, according to Newsweek.

FULL EVENT: Donald Trump MASSIVE Rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (10/10/2016) Trump Live Speech

WATCH | Here's the moment Trump cites the "Blumenthal" quote (skip to 13:25).

Wait, what?

According to Newsweek writer Kurt Eichenwald, WikiLeaks' most recent document dump included emails from John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign. Sputnik, a Russian news agency, found an email it claimed was from Blumenthal, and wrote a news story about it, calling it the "October surprise" that could doom Clinton's campaign.

In the article, Blumenthal is quoted as saying, "Clinton was in charge of the State Department, and it failed to protect U.S. personnel."

Didn't stop Trump

However, those words come directly from Eichenwald's 2015 Newsweek article that criticized Republicans for politicizing the Benghazi attacks.

Blumenthal had emailed that entire article to Podesta, according to Newsweek.

Sputnik removed the article from its site, but that didn't stop Trump from citing it at the rally.

State-sponsored cyber attacks

Russia has been involved in multiple state-sponsored hacks attempting to influence the the U.S. election. American intelligence agencies officially attributed those hacks to Russia last week.

The Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security said that the online disclosures in WikiLeaks and DCLeaks, as well as the Guccifer 2.0 profile, are consistent with strategies that Russia has used in the past.

Some thought this sounded almost stranger than fiction.

Here's Eichenwald's original reaction.

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