So this is what is occupying the major minds of journalism today.
A dossier making explosive — but unverified — allegations that the Russian government has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” President-elect Donald Trump for years and gained compromising information about him has been circulating among elected officials, intelligence agents, and journalists for weeks.
The dossier, which is a collection of memos written over a period of months, includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians. CNN reported Tuesday that a two-page synopsis of the report was given to President Barack Obama and Trump.
It is with a palpable sense of anger that BuzzFeed has finally decided that his document has to be made public. Read the whole thing.
Let me give you the high points.
1 The document is nebulous and simply not verifiable without access to a law enforcement or intelligence agency. This means you believe it or not. Whatever course you take it is faith-based.
2. There is nothing in it that you read and say,”No f***ing way would Donald Trump be involved in that.” It is plausible.
3. The fact that it is now circulating to you and I means that any value it held as a source of blackmail has pretty much evaporated.
With that behind us, let’s take a peak.
Anything here seem implausible?
We know Trump has had a close business relationship with people in Moscow going back to before the USSR split up. The “5 year” time horizon here sounds weird as we know Donald Trump, Jr. was talking publicly about their great Russian investors a decade ago. How anyone thought, five years ago, that Trump could help split the Western alliance is questionable. Did we have any intimation during the campaign that either Hillary was pulling her punches on Trump for fear of blackmail or that Trump had inside information that enabled him to best his rivals? I didn’t see it, but who knows.
Perversion? And Trump? Okay, you got me there.
Hillary Clinton sloppy with security? No. Can’t happen.
Maybe, maybe not. Paragraph one, here, seems the most plausible. The rest is fluff. Paragraph three seems like a very round about way to distribute funds but who knows. Paragraph 4 seems doubtful to me unless it refers to a professional KGB (or whatever they are calling it this week) operative within Trump’s accounting operation. Obviously, any information they got from Trump or his associates on Trump’s business plans was going to be wildly inaccurate. Remember, this is the guy whose own lawyers said they couldn’t get him to tell them the truth.
Now comes what you’ve been waiting for:
This happened. If it didn’t happen, it should have happened.
As Peeta Mellark asks in The Hunger Games, “real or not real.” This file started circulating after the GOP convention. So the fact that the Trump camp pulled back from the original GOP stance on Ukraine is correct. We are left to puzzle whether the rationale is correct. It could easily be either. Where I have doubts about Trump’s affinity for Russia beyond believing he, too, has looked into Putin’s soul, I have very little doubt that Paul Manafort and Carter Page were agents of influence if not outright Kremlin assets.
Again, this is plausible. I’m not particularly conversant on Trump’s business holdings in China but paying bribes to do business in China, either outright or by “hiring consultants” is not unheard of… and, of course, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act criminalizes the paying of bribes or kickbacks by US businesses overseas.
It goes on an on in that vein, rehashing the same statements over and over. This pops out on page 29:
This seems like bullsh** to me. To the best of my knowledge the only hacking accomplished was of the DNC server and of John Podesta’s email account. We all think Hillary Clinton’s server was hacked but there was not public release of that file. This seems to assert that Hillary Clinton’s emails were leaked and on one used them. Hard to believe given the Russian access to Wikileaks. It is difficult to believe anyone writing knowledgeably on the subject would have mistaken the DNC/Podesta leaks for Hillary Clinton’s emails. If they did, then you have to worry about the credibility of this whole document.
There is is. Read it all for yourself and make up your own mind.