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How did Donald Trump’s convention speech get leaked in advance?

Donald Trump walked onto the Republican National Convention stage Wednesday night. (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

This post has been updated.

Donald Trump delivered the biggest speech of his life at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night, but everyone knew what he was going to say ahead of time. Or, at least, they thought they did — he went off script, at times — because a copy of the GOP nominee's prepared remarks supplied to news outlets under embargo was published early.

That probably sounds like a simple story. It's not.

Politico posted the full text of Trump's speech at 6:21 p.m., saying it had "obtained" a draft copy. With the embargo broken, other publications, including The Washington Post, followed suit.

Politico ran a follow-up story by Kenneth P. Vogel that shed some light on the situation:

A super PAC backing Hillary Clinton on Thursday night mysteriously obtained and leaked drafts of Donald Trump’s nomination speech — and those of several other convention speakers — hours before the night's proceedings were set to kick off, sending the Trump campaign scrambling on the final night of what has been a chaotic convention.
The super PAC, Correct the Record, obtained a document containing the drafts from "a Republican source who had access to it, and they sent it to us," said Correct the Record founder David Brock, a close Clinton ally. ...
The document began circulating in political and journalism circles, and Politico obtained a draft of it soon after 5 p.m., but refrained from publishing it until verifying its authenticity.

Some news outlets did not require a leak to preview the speech, however — and had access to it much earlier. The Republican National Committee supplied the text of Trump's prepared remarks to members of the network television pool, including The Post, shortly after 2 p.m. ET. Access was granted to help production teams plan for the evening's telecasts, but outlets were prohibited from publishing the text.

A Politico spokesman said it did not receive the speech at that time; the website is not a member of the TV pool. The spokesman declined to identify the source that supplied the speech to Politico.

While the details remain murky, it shouldn't be hard for the Trump campaign to put together a plausible, media-bashing narrative of how things played out. It goes something like this: Some media member in the pool shared the speech with Correct the Record and Politico, knowing that a pro-Clinton super PAC and a politics site Trump hates would not feel bound by an embargo they never agreed to. It was a sleazy way to get the speech out early and sabotage Trump — which is what the media has been determined to do all along.

Donald Trump hates the media. But especially Politico.

We don't know whether this is actually what happened, and — despite what Trump keeps telling his supporters — the entire mainstream media is not engaged in a conspiracy to ruin his campaign. But there's no denying the business mogul's case against the "dishonest" media just got stronger.