Left-wing U.S. media heavily-pushed a transparently sketchy story today about Paul Manafort meeting and coordinating with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2013, 2015, 2016. The story has the same vibe as the Steele Dossier: long on innuendo, sketchy sourcing and an over-the-top narrative; in short, nonsense (Screengrab below).
Within minutes, the left-wing U.S. media began gleefully pushing the narrative. However, almost simultaneously, all of the principal participants said the Guardian story was entirely made-up and had no basis in fact.
Quietly, without any notations they were walking back the story, The Guardian began stealth edits of the original construct.
The downstream result, and the reactionary edits, has the appearance of either: (A) a completely manufactured story by the outlet (Luke Harding); or (B) a false leak presented to the Guardian in an effort to trap a leaker (ie. ‘black hat hunting). Given the history of the outlet, in combination with the nature of the leak, the latter would appear most likely.