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Whatever right-wing playbook that Breitbart and the White House are both currently operating off of is apparently missing a chapter on basic e-mail credulity, as CNN reports that an online prankster—apparently the same guy who duped a number of West Wing official earlier this year—successfully masqueraded as Steve Bannon in emails with the publication’s editors. The prankster (who tweets under the name @SINON_REBORN) then passed the emails, which include a number of attacks on Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, on to CNN.

“Reading online about how i’ll be bringing forth my wrath on Ivanka and Jared,” @SINON_REBORN wrote to the site’s editor-in-chief Alex Marlowe. “I’d be doing this great nation a service if I did.” Marlowe responded with firm agreement, writing, “I spooked em today. Did five stories on globalist takeover positioning you as only hope to stop it. You need to own that, just have surrogates do the dirty work. Boyle, Raheem, me, Tony have been waiting for this.” He followed it up with some sort of personal attack on Trump and Kushner, which was apparently vile enough that CNN refused to print it.


Marlowe later said the email exchange was intended to be tongue-in-cheek, just some harmless joking about globalist takeovers with someone he thought was his beloved boss. “The obsession with Breitbart News is simply a result of our effectiveness,” he said in a statement, reminding us all that you don’t really need trickery to hunt down any hidden awfulness when it’s all already there on the surface, waiting to be scraped off.

Bannon returned to Breitbart last week, after leaving his position as one of Donald Trump’s chief strategists. The outfit has already started going after at least some of the Trump administration’s policies since Bannon’s departure, attacking the president’s plans for military action in Afghanistan.