Maddow’s Forgery and Mistaken Timing

Much of Rachel Maddow’s reporting on the Russian scandal has been overly drawn out and breathless. But you should watch this piece (which is not only overly drawn out and breathless, but doesn’t emphasize the most important point).

Rachel describes how, on June 7, her tip line received a smoking gun document, appearing to be a Top Secret NSA document, laying out collusion between a Trump campaign official she doesn’t name (I’m going to wildarseguess, for a lot of reasons, it is Mike Flynn) and the Russians who hacked the election. She describes multiple reasons her team determined the document to be a fake: some misspellings, a declassification date that is wrong, some spacing weirdness, and that the campaign official is actually named, rather than masked as US Citizen 1.

But she also describes how the printer dots and a seeming crease on the document appear to replicate those that appear in the document Reality Winner is alleged to have provided to the Intercept.

Which is interesting, because as she shows about 14 minutes in (but doesn’t emphasize enough), the document sent to her tip line appears to have been created between the time Reality Winner went to jail and the time the Intercept published the document (unless I missed it, she doesn’t say precisely when they got the document, just that it was the same week as the Intercept published it Update: Corrected above). The creation date appears to be three and a half hours before the publication date at the Intercept. [Update: but not the creation date for the document, see below.]

Rachel surmises, correctly, I think, that the person sent the document both to discredit her own reporting (in much the same way reliance on fake documents discredited Dan Rather’s reporting of George Bush’s real Air National Guard scandal) as well as to discredit the notion that the Trump campaign, and the person named in particular, colluded with the Russians. This was an attempt to undercut potentially real news with deliberately faked news, fed through a selected outlet.

That would mean one of two things. Either the person who created the document faked the metadata (or created the document from Alaska or someplace west of there). Or the person received a copy of the very same document, including the crease, either from Reality Winner or from the Intercept or one of their sources, and then used it as a template to create a fake NSA document (or had visibility into the FBI’s investigation about this document). If it’s the latter, then the number of people who might be involved is rather small.

I’ve suggested there are reasons to wonder whether Winner was directed towards this document. I’d say there are more questions now about whether that’s the case.

Update: as PaulMD notes on Twitter, the document Rachel received actually has the very same creation time as the document the Intercept uploaded.

Update: Glenn Greenwald is pretty pissed about Rachel’s insinuations.

Update: Changed the title given the mistaken timing in the Rachel story.

48 replies
  1. Ben says:

    RUMPUBLICANS never change their undies and this is SOP for the GOP.

    Is this a good time to wade in marcy?

  2. sponson says:

    Were the “forgers” trying to get Maddow to run the bastardized version, discredit her, and thus pre-discredit or blunt the impact of the Intercept or anyone else who published the unaltered document?

    • emptywheel says:

      Trying to discredit anyone reporting on collusion between the Russians and Trump’s team.

  3. greengiant says:

    Seen this movie so many times it puts me to sleep.  Junior scriptwriters take note the bad guys include mafia, oligarchs, WS, MSM,  especially WSJ, NYTimes and WaPo and this time around RT and Sputnik.  GG should be just as pissed that Putin’s crew is fishing Maddow,  not that she didn’t do a hex compare or call GG for comment.

    Should add photoshop to my previous comment,  I don’t get it right that often   …   March 12, 2017 at 5:23 pm    …


    Controlling the narrative, the task of opposition researchers and “public” relations. On any given issue the media is the battleground. Media outlets are captured. Reference sites such as wikipedia and snopes are captured. Mainstream and alt media are full of bought “journalists”. False flag “journalists”, mainstream or alternate are in action. When captured media is the subject matter expert then the narrative is controlled. If opposition media falls for fake news then they are discredited when they convey the real news. The ad hominem attacks come out, the dick pics, the booking shots, libel suits, the litigation, past bad behavior.

  4. lefty665 says:

    Sounds like Maddow has the fake part pretty straight. However, her conclusion about pre-publication access appears to be false, and the motive of the sender open to discussion.

    Since the campaign official was named is it possible the motive was to add to the Russian/Trump collusion hysteria of which Maddow has been one of the louder purveyors?  That would fit with the Dem funded British dossier that Brennan apparently used as the source of his report. The intent may have been to use her as a chump. That is not as flattering as portraying herself as so important “they” were out to discredit her.  Sort of like a song: “You’re so vain you probably think this doc is about you”.

    Just read the Greenwald post, thank you for posting the link. He thoroughly trashes Maddow’s implication that the source of the forgery had access before the Intercept post. The timestamps are the same, to the second. That leads to the conclusion that the source document that was altered came from the Intercept’s on line posting. No special access required or likely.


  5. Gregg says:

    The overarching problem is that cable news is the appendicitis of journalism. Not just vestigial, but infectious and potentially deadly. There could be an interesting tidbit here about a honeypot, but blowing it up into a big scoop made it both ridiculous and self-discrediting. But if you watch the labored intro in the 21-minute a-block, you get the sense that this whole scoop was built as much to discredit The Intercept for not being hair-on-fire enough about Russian hacking.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Maddow is very bright, experienced and not easily fooled. She is one of the Left’s stars, for a host of reasons. Discrediting her would be high on the the list for many on the Right, domestically and internationally. It is, odd, though, that she did not interact more with the Intercept as part of her coverage.

  7. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Sorry GG, but your logic is wrong.

    (You recall about ten years ago the telco retrocover discussion? Actually, it was retro-immunity. This is related)

    (and note that this is an attack on the credibility of TI. Gaming media is correct, and you and everyone always needs to ask themselves if they are being gamed. And you are)

    I will quote you, and then point out where you missed the point. But there is a major story here IMO, so on that point, I totally agree.

    You (GG) wrote:

    “The grave tone of cloak-and-daggers mystery Maddow used to tell her story was predicated on her timeline of events. If it were the case that MSNBC had received the purportedly forged version of this document before The Intercept published its own version, that would indeed be a major story. That would mean that the person who sent the forgery to MSNBC was one of a relatively small group of people who would have had access to this top-secret document.”

    Here is the problem with your conclusion.

    TI had already sent a copy of the doc to NSA (to verify) *BEFORE* Reality Winner was arrested. Before TI *PUBLISHED*.

    Do you see the windiw of time?

    The “leaker” to RM certainly could create the ‘fake doc’ immediately, but hold off for days.

    Can you say you saw the creases?

    Once TI re-leaked the doc back to NSA, all bets off. The person that created the doc could also be the sane that provided the hacked doc to RM. They now have cover.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Note: To GG, RM, and Marcy

      Thank you GG for documenting (and using Linux, and not running as root)

      This is about the METADATA.

      So, GG, you downloaded a copy of the *YOUR* original document, on 2017-07-06 (note to readers, this is when TI pulled it back from cloud to re-examine the metdata, not when they first received the paper copy, allegedly with the crease, because allegedly mailed).

      According to the metadata, as GG points to (witn red circle and arrow), the PDF itself was originally created 2017-06-05 12:17.

      NOTE: This is *AFTER* Reality Winner was arrested (which was 2017-06-03).

      This would be when TI did the scan-to-pdf function on a MFC-printer-scanner-copier. Since that was after Reality Winner was arrested, and TI had already sent a copy of the document back to NSA for ‘verification’, there are some issues.

      Chain of custody is a major problem.

      Toss in EXIFTOOL, and maybe both GG and RM are both correct.

    • bmaz says:

      That is seriously precious. You have no substantive comment to make other than you “don’t like” Glenn?

      What a telling “comment”.

      Only a half step below the deceptive crap “SpaceLifeForm” penned in his/her comment above.

      What you talking about Willis?? Ditto for supposed “SpaceLifeForm”.

      Do tell in all your troofer Thermite intellectual holiness. I will be waiting.

        • Duncan says:

          So do millions of American boys, thank God.  But that has nothing to do with whether Greenwald is a responsible journalist.  All you have, then, is schoolyard insults; thanks for playing.

          • Willis Warren says:

            I don’t care if Greenwald is a responsible journalist, frankly.  He’s never on the side the USA.   He’s worked for CATO, which is a joke.  I find pretty much everything he does to be self righteous and ridiculous.

            Do either of you two contribute anything here, or do you just police the comments section with piffy jibes?

            • bmaz says:

              Okay, so now you have proved you are full of it. First off, there are several extremely good people at Cato, present and former, many of whom are very good friends of this blog.

              Secondly, if you knew your ass from a hole in the ground, you would know that Glenn is NOT one of them. Here he is in 2013 destroying ignorant accusations like yours:

              I am not now, nor have I ever been, employed by the Cato Institute. Nor have I ever been affiliated with the Cato Institute in any way. The McCarthyite tone of the denials is appropriate given the McCarthyite nature of the lie.

              In seven-plus years of political writing, I have written a grand total of twice for Cato: the firstwas a 2009 report on the success of drug decriminalization in Portugal, and the secondwas a 2010 online debate in which I argued against former Bush officials about the evils of the surveillance state.

              Lastly, yes, I do contribute here, I have been a writer and editor from the first day this blog existed. And, yes, it is actually my job to police comments. But, again, if you more than just an interloping troll, you would know that.

            • John Casper says:


              Why are you “never on the side of the USA?”

              Greenwald was pivotal in exposing, among other things, that the Carlyle Group, had siphoned $2 billion of taxpayer money through Booz Allen, a U.S. contractor, that it owned at the time.

  8. Rayne says:

    Sadly, the heated nature of rebuttal between journalism outlets is as damaging as doctored-and-leaked documents. Textbook demoralizatsiya (demoralization) — now outlets will trust each other even less and spend more time monitoring each others’ reporting than figuring out who passed desinformatsiya (disinformation) onto Maddow and if this happened to other outlets already.

    I’d like to see some more technical discussion about the metadata on Maddow’s  — could it have been altered, what indicators demonstrate it wasn’t altered. Without completely ruling out metadata could in no way be altered, this is going to hang over both TI and Maddow, and they both have a vested interest in clarifying this point in order to solidify the timeline. The very last exchange I’ve seen on this issue doesn’t clinch it for me; it opens more questions.


    • Brad Casali says:

      Perhaps I’m a bit dense, but I am not getting why everyone is fussing over the metadata/dates of the documents.  My takeaway (could be wrong) was that the actual content of the document was more evidence of it being forged than timing–the naming of US citizen, mainly.

      Also, it seems fairly obvious that whoever sent her this document was using Winner’s as a template.

      Am I missing something, or are we just reading too much into this?

      ETA: I didn’t mean to hit reply here. Rather, I intended for this comment to stand alone. Apologies.

      • SpaceLifeForm says:

        The METADATA is forgeable.

        Anyone can take a PDF (not just from TI, but for example, Vault7 docs), modify, and ‘leak’.

        Using EXIFTOOL, one can modify the METADATA embedded inside the doc itself.

        One can also modify the filesystem METADATA, so one can ‘produce’ a file that appears to not have conflicting info.

        The external timestamps (filesystem METADATA) can be made to match the internal timestamps (in this case, the PDF internal METADATA).

        The doc can be made to appear to have been created at any point in time using the right tools.

        The file is just data.

        Point being, the original document creator of the document, allegedly only viewed by 6 people, could create a second PDF doc with the same timestamp METADATA as the one TI created on the cloud.

        There is no chain of custody.

        It is a chicken-egg problem.
        There is no way to prove which one came first.

  9. themgt says:

    Maddow has become a complete grifter and a dangerous joke. If she’s as smart as everyone assumes, she’s obviously in on the con. Her show has become utterly unwatchable, with her tireless conspiracies slathered with gratuitous verbosity and repetition and her own sense of self-import. It’s like an imitation of Keith Olbermann’s imitation of Edward R Murrow. She’s taken her viewers into the deep end of madness and won’t help them out for fear of losing lucrative ratings.

    Does anyone on the left even remember Glenn Beck’s crazed chalkboard and how much we all laughed at it? That’s what everyone not part of this cult is doing now, at Maddow and Mensch and Olbermann and Abramson and Larry Tribe and Peter Daou and Ted Lieu all the rest of the conspiracy grifters and those on left who are unwilling to call out this growing insanity.

      • themgt says:

        Funny you can’t see the point when half this very post is struck out because it followed one of the now numerous wild-goose chase falsehoods promulgated by “our team”. Point is the grifters like Maddow are discrediting the Dems and left in general, and need to be thrown under the bus before we go into the 2018 cycle in full on moonbat mode. That is if you still care about winning elections.

        We already have Dem congressional candidates quoting nutjobs like Mensch and wearing Trump/Putin 2016 t-shirts, so maybe its time to tap the breaks on the conspiracy thinking among your friends and readers. Refocus on issues which affect most Americans daily lives and thus they actually care about and coalesce around a platform to support?

        • bmaz says:

          Naw, I do not see your point at all. Frankly, the fact that Marcy made the updates as she did is exactly what you ought be in favor of instead of blindly lashing out and trying to stupidly lump things into the Mensch and moon bat categories. “Winning elections”, whether in your eye, or anybody else’s, was not, and is not, the subject of this post.

        • greengiant says:

          You can explain your own narrative,  but the more you and others dive into the ad hominem attacks the faster you lose whatever argument you have.  I have certainty that political operatives did not stop on Nov 8 or Jan 20th.    In other news 4 hours ago Buzzfeed’s @csmcdaniel  “The “tipster” accidentally sent us the document @theintercept published. When we followed up, he responded with the same forgery Maddow got”

    • John Casper says:


      Besides Maddow, who else at Comcast do you watch?

      Is there anyone at Comcast who you would rank higher than Maddow on your grifter scale?

      How do you rank the rest of Comcast’s MSNBC stable on that scale?

      If her show has become, “utterly unwatchable,” why do you watch?

      When do you think Comcast will stop chasing “lucrative ratings?”

      Is it time to “tap the breaks” on your faith in Comcast?

      You wrote, “Refocus on issues which affect most Americans daily lives and thus they actually care about and coalesce around a platform to support?”

      Please, give us your top ten.

      I get that the 4th Amendment’s name recognition isn’t high, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

      But, how do you have a functioning society without it, or something similar? How do you maintain private property? How do corporations keep their trade secrets?

      IMHO, the Fourth Amendment is the gravity around which most of posts here revolve. It’s not that there aren’t a lot of other complex and critical issues, but for example, how do you protect the Second Amendment without the Fourth?

      What issue more squarely addresses your concern, “…issues which affect most Americans daily lives…?”

      In two short posts you mentioned, “tireless conspiracies, conspiracy grifters,” the “deep end of madness,” Glenn Beck’s “crazed chalkboard,” a “cult,” the “numerous wild-goose chase falsehoods,” the “full on moonbat mode, nutjobs” and “growing insanity.”

      Does the Guinness Book of World Records have a most-mental-health-references-per-sentence category?

      Your posts claim to have a working knowledge of this site’s content. When did you start reading? Have you ever donated? If so, how much and when? Thanks in advance.

  10. lefty665 says:

    Nice updates.

    It is possible that the intent was just as simple as it appeared, to use Maddow to spread more Trump/Russian collusion propaganda and further tar the named person, likely Flynn. Operation Reality Winner part 2.

    Maddow blew it up by hyping the nonsense about timestamps and made it all dramatic and all about her.  No doubt there are some people out to discredit her, but the ones behind the fraud may not have been among them.  Ironically by going after The Intercept and being wrong she has done the discrediting she fears to herself.




  11. glasnost says:

    I don’t understand why The Intercept has been trying so hard to discredit the Trump-Russia story and is so unwilling to face up to the fact that whistleblowers can and have recently been made into tools of foreign governments. it’s the same mistake as trump’s favorite cognitive error in reverse – this news must be fake because negatively implicates people with whom I share some trait in common. I don’t understand why they’re so committed to tell everyone we’re overhyping the threat of Vladimir Putin, when Vladimir Putin is leading the most aggressive promotion of anti-democratic global war since the end of the Cold War. I don’t understand any of it. I understand Assange – he doesn’t care about anything but himself, twisted by hatred and revenge, a dead man walking. But I don’t understand … maybe I do understand. I’m just dissapointed.



    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      “whistleblowers can and have recently been made into tools of foreign governments.”


      “whistleblowers can and have recently been made into tools of governments.”

      Define foreign.

      Then explain why your non-foreign government is totally trustable and not doing the same thing that you imply only foreign governments do.

  12. WalkerB says:

    If I understand correctly, the Winner NSA document and the forgery based on it having the same creation time stamp doesn’t mean the forgery didn’t originate from within the Intercept, it means the pool of potential perpetrators is larger. Maddow reported on this, what, over 3 weeks after receiving it. Why now? It sounded like she consulted with NSA folks who might be interested in looking into this, and that an effort was made to determine who was behind it. BuzzFeed reportedly received the same forgery. BuzzFeed never mentioned it until Maddow’s report. BuzzFeed didn’t investigate the origin of the forgery and disregarded it. That weeks long delay may have been necessary to yield the information that led to her presenting the story the way she did. It appears that it was once they got a bead on it, she ran with the story.  GG certainly made an impassioned response to something that fell well short of an accusation.

    • lefty665 says:

      “it means the pool of potential perpetrators is larger.”  As in everyone on earth with a web browser. What’s that about 3 billion potential perps?  You are a master of understatement.

      Sounds like BuzzFeed did it right. They figured out it was a fake and threw it in the circular file, task completed.  It was prime fodder for grousing over drinks after work “You wouldn’t believe the shit that came in today. Can you believe anybody really expected us to publish that dreck?”  Maddow would have been far better off had she done the same.

      OTOH Maddow figured out the timestamp on the phony doc was before The Intercept publishing time and her hair spontaneously combusted .  It never occurred to her to look at the timestamp on The Intercept published doc.  Had she done so she would have seen that they were the same, there was no intrigue, and that The Intercept’s web published doc was the source for the phony doc she received. Maybe she’s not so bright after all, or Hillary hysteria has overwhelmed her critical faculties, or maybe it was just a bad day and events spun out of control. It happens. Common sense OBE (overtaken by events) is what we called it. Too bad she did not have someone on staff to say “Hold on for a minute Rachel, that’s the way we do it too. The timestamps always precede the broadcast. That’s how we have the visuals ready to go for you”.  Or maybe she did and did not listen. In that case the after work bar conversation probably went “I tried to tell her, but would she listen? Hell no. Once she gets the bit in her teeth there’s no stopping her. Bartender, another round please.”



      • WalkerB says:

        Is it really about 3 billion potential perps ?  On that scale, the number of people with such motives and timing ain’t that.  However the point being, a larger potential pool exonerates no one.

        Again, what stands out to me is not that a cable news show received bogus information, it’s that Maddow waited over 3 weeks to report on this specific example of forged info.  An effort was made to track down the forger, something apparently not routinely done when received info is obviously fake.  Why go the distance to research and report in this particular case?

        Maddow’s reporting on this is incomplete.  Either she ends up owing TI a sincere apology, or she reveals more about what they uncovered about the source of the forgery.

        • lefty665 says:

          3.2 billion actually.  I underestimated, but was pretty close.  What’s a couple of hundred million potential perps among friends?   Even more amazing is that the internet of things thinks there are 15 billion of those things and the numbers are growing like Topsy.  Are you keeping secrets from your refrigerator? It’s 10 o’clock, does your furnace know where you are? Oh what fun Dr. Seuss would have with Thing 15,000,000,001 and Thing 15,000,000,002.

          “Why go the distance to research and report in this particular case?” Exactly! Without the mistaken assumption (see, I’m playing nice) that the phony doc came from a leak before the Intercept published, there was no reason to do anything beyond throw it in the trash.  If the word gets out that you can put a cork in Maddow by sending her phony tips that puzzle her, even if she does not grind your axe for you by publishing them, then Katy bar the door, they’ll be coming in by the bit bucket load.

      • wayoutwest says:

        This was a lame attempt at deflection by a lame snowflake, Maddow. The true fake news creations from the MSN are being exposed with a variety of Trump supports joining in the research and exposure.

        This threat to snowflake fake news dominance had to be countered or at lest clouded with this failed attempt to make it appear that someone else, probably from the Trump side, was producing and distributing fake news. Maddow is so clever she may have printed or sent this trash to herself.

        • John Casper says:


          Yours “was a lame attempt at deflection by a lame snowflake,” you. “The true fake news creations from the elites are being exposed with[sic] a variety of” sites.

          “This threat to snowflake fake news dominance had to be countered or at lest[sic] clouded with this failed attempt to make it appear that someone else,” probably from the Trump side, “was producing and distributing fake news.”

  13. Splashoil says:

    Dim focus on Russia collusion has sucked all oxygen from the room. It’s a self licking cone.
    All the talent looks at it while the ball goes in other direction re health care and cleansing the Democratic Party. Hey we got the Russia sanctions through the Senate by going light on regressive health legislation.
    Way to go team D!

  14. Charles says:

    Greenwald is a pissy person. That is why he is pissed. He should be thanking Maddow for being alert enough to check out the document, because–while publication would have damaged her reputation, exposure that it was a forgery could have been fatal for The Intercept.


    Which, by the way, accidentally burned its own source by failing to eradicate the dots.


    Which, I suspect, is why Greenwald is being so aggressive.


    Maddow never said that the document template was stolen off his server. What she does do is make it clear that she received the document no more than 48 hours after its publication. Therefore, whoever put together the forgery did it very quickly. To her discredit, she did not say just how bad a forgery it was. But she put in a month’s due diligence to figure out what was going on, and she therefore produced an important story–about how malicious people (conservative operatives?) are attacking the media by sending out fake documents.


    I have defended Greenwald over a lot of things. But he is a jerk, and nowhere is this better illustrated than by how he handled this story.

    • Peter Braccio says:

      She never implied that the forgery came from Intercept. She implied that it came from someone else who also had a copy of the document before publication. That was the main thrust of the piece. The fake came from outside of the Intercept from an organization that had access to the original doc before publication.

      For a lot of attention to detail type people, I’m kinda amazed that that detail can’t be grasped.

      Of course, the point is moot since the date stamps appear to be identical.

      However, why is it so unimportant to find out who is trying to discredit journalists? I also kinda think that that is something that needs the light of day to shine on it.

      • Charles says:

        She never implied that the forgery came from Intercept.

        I said this quite clearly.

        She implied that it came from someone else who also had a copy of the document before publication. 

        She was in error. As has been pointed out by others, the creation date of the Intercept document is the same as the creation date of her document. Publication by the Intercept was soon after the timestamp of 12:15 pm 6/5/17; the Intercept post is 13:44 (1:44 pm), 6/5/17. Two days later, she got it. She mistakenly thought the creation date was the date she received it.


        However, why is it so unimportant to find out who is trying to discredit journalists?

        I also said this quite clearly.

        • Peter Braccio says:

          I was agreeing with you. Your’s was the only post that actually got these things correct.

          I went over to the Intercept, read GG article (which was way too defensive) and read some of the comments. Wow. Batshit crazy.

          • Charles says:

            Greenwald is in an uncomfortable situation. The failure of the Intercept to scrub the dots from the document may have burned an informant. They are doubtless scrambling, looking back at other documents to see what else they might have inadvertently leaked.


            So, said without irony, I feel his pain. I can understand why he’s trying to deflect onto Maddow. But that’s bad strategy. She gave him positive coverage, which he could have accepted gracefully. I hope he re-thinks. The Intercept does lots of good work, and getting into a pissing match with someone like Maddow only diminishes the Intercept.

  15. Joanne Lukacher says:

    Slightly OT: Marcy what is your take on this?

    • lefty665 says:

      Interesting. Looks like a nice piece of analysis although it needs validation. Local download to a USB drive is consistent with what we can see. That is if NSA had evidence of  DNC hacks and big data transfers overseas Brennan would have had it spread all over his report. The NSA would have had “Very High Confidence” rather than “Moderate Confidence” in Brennan’s conclusions because they were based on “foreign sources”.  That was an indirect statement that NSA had no direct evidence of extraction of massive amounts of DNC data overseas while damning Brennan’s assertions with faint praise. That is about all we can expect them to do in public and it is a huge red flag.

      This was analysis of the Guccifer 2.0 data not Wikileaks. However the Guccifer 2.0 dump was only about 10% of close to 20gb downloaded if the timing implication is correct.  That leaves a lot available to go to Wikileaks. Maybe Assange is right.

      • lefty665 says:

        “Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), including William Binney, a former technical director of the NSA, asserts that the DNC email release was caused by a leak not a “hack.” The distinction is important: a hack is done over the Internet; a leak is done transferring files onto a memory stick with little or no record. VIPS believes the emails were taken by an insider who transferred the files onto a thumb drive. If the files had been transferred over the Internet, the NSA would have a record of that since virtually every packet is stored.”

        from   point 4) The counter-evidence seems stronger and more factual.  See the embedded link in the quote above for their logic.

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