Russia appears to have successfully manipulated Donald Trump in order to get him to attack Qatar — a critical U.S. ally.
CNN is reporting that a May 23 article from Qatar’s state-run news agency appears to suggest that the Gulf Arab nation’s Emir, or leader, made flattering remarks toward both Iran and Israel and suggested that Donald Trump may be ousted from the White House before the end of his first term as President. Qatar’s foreign minister told CNN that the FBI confirmed there was a hack and that a fake news story was planted.
The origin of the hack is unclear, but U.S. officials have reportedly narrowed it down to either Russian mob organizations or Russian security agencies operating under the direction of the Kremlin. However, an unnamed intelligence official looking into the Russian hack of Qatar’s state-run news outlet told CNN “not much happens in [Russia] without the blessing of the government.”
As others have reported, Trump began the day by tweeting attacks at Qatar and accusing the Gulf nation of funding Islamic terrorism, despite Qatar hosting the U.S.’s largest military base in the Middle East. The Foreign Policy Research Institute argues that the destabilization of U.S. allies is a chief goal of the Kremlin. The planting of the fake news article and resulting response from Trump and other Middle Eastern countries seems to support that argument.
This isn’t the first time President Trump has been duped by fake news. Last month, The Guardian reported that Trump’s Deputy National Security Adviser intentionally gave him a doctored version of TIME magazine suggesting that an ice age was coming (as opposed to global warming) despite that TIME cover being debunked in 2013.
Kevin Wallace is a journalist with five years’ experience in print and digital media, and covers politics, media, and culture for the Resistance Report. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.