Donald Trump has gone ahead and mainstreamed a completely unproven allegation that Hillary Clinton‘s emails are the reason why Iran killed a scientist just days ago:
Many people are saying that the Iranians killed the scientist who helped the U.S. because of Hillary Clinton's hacked emails.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2016
Iran said this weekend that they executed scientist Shahram Amiri after he was convicted of spying for the United States. They said he “gave vital information about the country to the enemy.”
Now, it does appear that Clinton emails released by the State Department did contain small, cryptic references to Amiri, seemingly confirming he was a defector who aided the United States. Neither of the emails names him directly, but reports like CNN’s (linked above) put the pieces together.
The Washington Post‘s Josh Rogin took a look at this theory and concluded it was clearly jumping to conclusions:
There are several possible explanations as to why Amiri decided to go home and face the judgment of the Iranian justice system, which concluded he was a traitor. The Iranian government may have threatened his wife and 7-year old son. He may have hated life on the run. He may have had a change of heart.
But there’s no reasonable connection between the discussion of Amiri’s case on email by Clinton’s staff to Amiri’s eventual execution. There’s no evidence her server was hacked. The Iranians knew all about Amiri well before the emails were released publicly. His kidnapping story never held water and his fate was sealed long before his sentence was carried out.
And the “many people are saying” construction of Trump’s tweet led to some snark:
Many people are saying Donald Trump won't release his taxes because they show donations to NAMBLA. https://t.co/DoanZdxlvv
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) August 8, 2016
Re-upping: You will never go wrong by reading “Many people are saying” as “What I’m about to say is not true” https://t.co/vnCmDmf9tJ
— James Fallows (@JamesFallows) August 8, 2016
When @realDonaldTrump begins a tweet "many people are saying" you can be sure that what follows is not only wrong but stupid.
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) August 8, 2016
many people are saying Harambe was an inside job
— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) August 8, 2016
many people are saying that “end of watch,” the terrifying new novel from stephen king, shows the horror master at his bone-chilling best
— Philip Bump (@pbump) August 8, 2016
Many people are saying I deserve a raise.
— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) August 8, 2016
[image via screengrab]
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