MSNBC host Rachel Maddow revealed on Thursday night that someone is sending "carefully forged" intelligence documents to media outlets in an attempt to discredit coverage of the investigation into Russian collusion with President Donald Trump's campaign team.
Maddow tweeted early Thursday evening that she had a "strange exclusive" coming up on her show later that night.
We've got a strange exclusive coming up at 9pm ET on MSNBC. In house, we've been calling this our "inside-out" scoop.
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) July 7, 2017
In a clip flagged by Mediaite, Maddow revealed the scoop at the beginning of her show and talked about it for almost 20 minutes. Her opening monologue began by pointing out that she has a website for people to send her tips and documents anonymously. She said that she has received many documents and inside scoops from various sources.
"A few weeks ago, we got a new document from that channel and at first glance it was just unbelievably red-hot. If by any chance this document is real, it is so sensitive, so classified, that I cannot show it to you. I cannot show it to almost anyone," Maddow said.
She went on to say that it was almost impossible for someone to validate the document due to its classification level.
"People who are in a position to recognize or authenticate this kind of document, people who have worked with things at this level of classification," Maddow noted. "They typically will refuse to look at a document like this if there's any chance it is real, that it is real classified information that has been disclosed."
Maddow said that the document she received was not just a smoking gun, but it was a "gun still firing proverbial bullets" and that it had explosive political implications.
"We believe now that the real story we have stumbled upon here is that somebody out there is shopping carefully forged documents to try to discredit news agencies reporting on the Russian attack on our election," Maddow said. "And specifically on the possibility that the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians in mounting that attack."
Maddow said this is the first time she has needed to send a scoop up like a flare for other media outlets to investigate.
UPDATE: 3:59 P.M.: This article was updated to include that Mediaite originally wrote about the clip.