Here's the Problem With the Story Connecting Russia to Donald Trump's Email Server - 2016-11-01
On Monday night, Slate's Franklin Foer published a story that's been circulating through the dark web and various newsrooms since summertime, an enormous, eyebrow-raising claim that Donald Trump uses a secret server to communicate with Russia. That claim resulted in an explosive night of Twitter confusion and misinformation.
The gist of the Slate article is dramatic — incredible, even: Cybersecurity researchers found that the Trump Organization used a secret box configured to communicate exclusively with Alfa Bank, Russia's largest privately-held commercial bank. This is a story that any reporter in our election cycle would drool over, and drool Foer did:
The researchers quickly dismissed their initial fear that the logs represented a malware attack. The communication wasn't the work of bots. The irregular pattern of server look-ups actually resembled the pattern of human conversation — conversations that began during office hours in New York and continued during office hours in Moscow. It dawned on the researchers that this wasn't an attack, but a sustained relationship between a server registered to the Trump Organization and two servers registered to an entity called Alfa Bank.