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Reddit's logo on a smartphone. Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Reddit said that accounts that shared sensitive U.S.-U.K. trade documents on its platform acted as part of a suspected Russian-based disinformation operation, in a post on Friday.

The big picture: The platform believes that the accounts that shared the leaked documents are tied to the same Russian disinformation campaign reported by Facebook in May, which focused on Ukraine, the Syrian civil war and "political news in Europe."

Background: Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn claimed in November that the leaked documents provided evidence of Prime Minister Boris Johnson putting the U.K.’s National Health Service "up for sale" in trade talks — which Johnson has repeatedly denied, tweeting that the NHS "will not be on the table for any trade negotiations."

  • The leaked documents address several key issues, per the BBC: drug pricing and patents, food safety and labeling and potentially include a reference to climate change in the bilateral trade agreement.
  • The documents don't show that U.K. negotiators agreed to anything during talks with the U.S. in 2017 and 2018, per Axios' Shane Savitsky.
  • But, the leak suggested that the U.S. wanted the NHS to be "on the table" in post-Brexit talks, Politico reports.
  • The U.K.'s Brexit-focused general election is set for Dec. 12.

Details: Reddit says it has suspended 61 accounts and 1 subreddit for platform misuse and vote manipulation on posts sharing the leaked documents.

Go deeper: Corbyn accuses Tories of putting NHS "up for sale" in post-Brexit U.S. trade deal

Go deeper

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.

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