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InfoWars, the notorious conspiracy theory website headed by Alex Jones, claimed to have the “memo” at the center of the “#ReleaseTheMemo” movement on Tuesday afternoon—however, it’s actually a public document that has been online for months.
The #ReleaseTheMemo movement centers around a supposed four-page classified memo shown to the House Intelligence Committee. It apparently includes information on whether the FBI and Obama administration used the Trump-Russia dossier as an excuse to spy on the Trump campaign using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and possibly fabricated intelligence.
While many Republicans have called the memo “sickening” or “worst than Watergate,” Democrats have called it “misleading” and “rife with factual inaccuracies.” The memo was reportedly written by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who was accused trying to help the White House at the start of the Russia probe early last year.
Jones hyped the story on Tuesday, by tweeting that he had “been told the details of the #FISA memo,” and that he had “received a copy.”
While InfoWars says the document they published “serves as the basis” for the memo, it is being presented online as the memo conservatives have been clamoring to be released for a week.
But people were quick to point out that the document InfoWars posted was not the “memo” everyone wants to see, but rather a publicly released document.
As you might imagine, Twitter was swift in telling InfoWars it was hyping a document that has been online for months.
Bahahahaha. Infowars just posted an ‘exclusive’ that they’ve got that secret “memo” about spying on the Trump campaign. Except they don’t. It’s a FISA Court opinion on 702 that’s been public for months. https://t.co/dXYJuhZGqs— Julian Sanchez (@normative) January 23, 2018
The "memo" Infowars posted today is obviously not the secret FISA memo. The document they posted is a judicial opinion by a federal judge. The FISA memo was composed by Devin Nunes' office. Not even a good attempt at posting a fake document.https://t.co/29R88inFNn— Steve Lookner (@lookner) January 23, 2018
People, the memo posted on InfoWars is NOT the #ReleaseTheMemo Nunes/HPSCI memo.— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) January 23, 2018
The one released is older general FISA protocol info, parts of which had already been released.
UPDATE: Infowars' Alex Jones claims he has the "classified [FISA] memo." But...— Andrew Peng (@TheAPJournalist) January 23, 2018
1. The real memo at the center of the #ReleaseTheMemo debate is just 4 pages long
2. The document Jones is showing is actually a declassified court ruling. https://t.co/70l9Y2FWak pic.twitter.com/leoU40UOFR
So Alex Jones is claiming he has the FISA memo, but... pic.twitter.com/QhOyNq40Lj— Will Sommer (@willsommer) January 23, 2018
Nunes is reportedly working on releasing the memo, but needs approval from the committee and the president.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).