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The 8 Weirdest Hoaxes And Conspiracy Theories About The Clinton Campaign Emails

The Wikileaks dump of Clinton campaign emails has given rise to a bunch of pretty outlandish stuff.

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1. Hillary Clinton grabbed a man's junk on stage.

TDTAlliance.com

A hoax image, originating on a fake news outlet meant to resemble the Fox News website, claims to show Hillary Clinton grabbing a man's genitals.

A reverse image search reveals the image is actually of Brady Bunch actress Florence Henderson, on stage during a Broadway benefit concert in 2009.

2. Hillary Clinton disparaged black people.

Jessica Mcgowan / Getty Images

According to a viral story on The Gateway Pundit, Clinton "trashed African Americans" and described them as "losers."

Blogger Jim Hoft linked to an email published by Wikileaks that included the following passage:

The main reason behind successful immigration should be painfully obvious to even the most dimwitted of observers: Some groups of people are almost always highly successful given only half a chance (Jews*, Hindus/Sikhs and Chinese people, for example), while others (Muslims, blacks** and Roma***, for instance) fare badly almost irrespective of circumstances.

In fact, Hillary Clinton said no such thing, and neither did anyone connected to her campaign. It was merely a racist mass-email sent to more than a dozen people, including Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and numerous journalists.

The Gateway Pundit post has since been deleted without explanation, but other blogs have repeated the claim that Clinton disparaged black Americans.

3. Hillary Clinton referred to Muslims as "sand niggers" in an email.

Twitter

This is another example of someone else's words being attributed to Clinton.

In 2012, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published an opinion piece by acclaimed author David Grossman, in which he described the ill treatment of a Palestinian man. Grossman's column was only published in Hebrew, and people in Clinton's circle were sharing an English translation found online, which included the term "sand nigger."

Clinton seems merely to have shared that translation with a State Department aide.

4. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was assassinated, and the Clinton campaign was in on it.

Pool / Getty Images

A February email conversation among Clinton campaign insiders has been falsely interpreted as evidence of a plot to kill Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in his sleep a few days later.

In one email, sent on Feb. 9, Podesta references "wet works" in response to someone's suggestion that it will be a "bad nite [sic]" and that people will "need to buckle up and double down."

Numerous conservative and fringe websites have interpreted that as murderous intent, likely based on the dictionary definition of wet works as a euphemism for political assassination that originated with the KGB.

However, around the time of those emails, the Clinton campaign was still locked in a primary fight with Senator Bernie Sanders. As Snopes detailed, Clinton staffers were discussing a strategy to connect Sanders to a Senate group that raises large sums of money from industry lobbyists. Podesta and others believed that association would hurt Sanders. One donor retreat for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reportedly took place at Martha's Vineyard, which helps explain Podesta's full email.

"Didn't think wet works meant pool parties at the Vineyard," Podesta wrote. In this context, "wet works" is clearly a joke, and not in relation to Scalia but to Sanders.

5. Clinton called young and progressive voters a "bucket of losers."

True Pundit

As BuzzFeed News has previously detailed, a fake speech transcript making the rounds on social media claimed that Clinton, speaking to a Wall Street audience, mocked young voters.

In the supposedly leaked transcript, Clinton was alleged to have described a voting bloc on the left as “a collection of generally under-represented, low social capital individuals” who constitute a “bucket of losers." Wikileaks has revealed details and excerpts of some of Clinton's paid speeches to Goldman Sachs, but not full transcripts. This is a big fake.

6. The New York Times "warned" the Clinton campaign about stories they were about to publish.

New York Times warns Hillary campaign in advance of stories they are about to publish. https://t.co/Nz6EwzT7id… https://t.co/9KkSztV0Nr

Paul Joseph Watson, a writer for the conspiracy site InfoWars, claimed that a hacked email showed collusion between New York Times reporters and the Clinton campaign.

In the email, Clinton press secretary Nick Merrill said he had been told by two reporters about an imminent story about Hillary Clinton meeting with Senator Elizabeth Warren in December of 2014. While Watson and many others have characterized this as the Times "warning" or even colluding with the campaign, it is standard journalistic practice to seek comment from people in a story before you publish.

The resulting story did not include any input from the campaign, and noted that Clinton's aides "did not respond to requests for comment."

7. Hillary Clinton hates "everyday Americans."

Victor Ng / Via Twitter: @victomato

A viral Gateway Pundit post claimed that people in Clinton's inner circle "admitted" that the candidate hates regular Americans. This apparent bombshell came courtesy of a hacked email in which aides, discussing the wording of a speech, noted that Clinton "has begun to hate everyday Americans."

In fact, Clinton's aides were worried about overusing the phrase "everyday Americans" in her speeches. As John Podesta noted in the leaked email, "people will notice" its absence and he suggested inserting it into a speech to be delivered in New Hampshire.

8. Democrats want to keep citizens "unaware and compliant."

InfoWars / Via infowars.com

According to several fringe sites including InfoWars, a March email to John Podesta reveals the "master plan" to keep Americans ignorant and therefore easy to control.

The email was sent by Bill Ivey, a former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, who wrote that "we've all been quite content ... to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry." Ivey added that "compliance is obviously fading rapidly."

The full text shows that he was warning against the rise of celebrity culture in politics, as embodied by Donald Trump. Far from wanting an unaware and compliant electorate, Ivey was urging "serious thinking" about how to make politics matter to people.

Ivey further clarified his comments to Snopes: "No 'master-of-the-universe' conspiracy; just a lament that leaders and policy makers have not been sufficiently attentive to some of the basics that make our democracy great."

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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