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News Clash

Dear CNN: The Steele Dossier (Which YOU Pushed) May Have Been Russian Disinformation — Is That News?

The “Facts First” outlet might have been spreading Russian disinformation?! Color me shocked!

It’s probably a good thing that they’ve moved away from their former slogan, “The Most Trusted Name In News.”

In case you forgot — back in 2017, it was Buzzfeed and CNN that reported the salacious deets of the Steele dossier. At the time, we didn’t know where it had come from, or if any of it was true, but they reported it anyway.

We now know that the dossier was compiled by former U.K. spy, Christopher Steele, and was financed by the Hillary campaign and the DNC. We also know that the DOJ was warned that it was connected to Hillary and might be biased. 

We know that the claims in it are largely bunk and the rest is unverifiable — so, it’s basically a collection of gossip.

And yet, it appears that the Steele dossier may have been the main source used by the FBI to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page. We also know that the FBI had denied to the court that the Steele dossier was the basis for the FISA warrant. 

It seems that the Obama administration’s FBI used allegations of Russian connections with George Papadopoulos and the Steele dossier as the rather flimsy basis for the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into the Trump campaign. 

The New York Times now reports that the dirty dossier might be under some “possibly harsh scrutiny.”

Now the dossier — financed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele — is likely to face new, possibly harsh scrutiny from multiple inquiries.

Republicans in Congress have vowed to investigate. The Justice Department’s inspector general is considering whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation improperly relied on the dossier in applying to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a warrant to eavesdrop on Carter Page, a Trump adviser. The inspector general wants to know what the F.B.I. learned about Mr. Steele’s sources and whether it disclosed any doubts about their veracity to the court.

But it could be worse than just a dossier used as the flimsy basis for an investigation against a political rival — which is bad enough — it could be actual Russian disinformation. The FBI tracked down and questioned one of Steele’s main “sources” in January 2017, and it appears that the Russian speaker may have added in his own interpretations to reports passed to him by his sources.

Agents did not believe that either the source or Mr. Steele was deliberately inventing things, according to the former official. How the dossier ended up loaded with dubious or exaggerated details remains uncertain, but the document may be the result of a high-stakes game of telephone, in which rumors and hearsay were passed from source to source.

Another possibility — one that Mr. Steele has not ruled out — could be Russian disinformation. That would mean that in addition to carrying out an effective attack on the Clinton campaign, Russian spymasters hedged their bets and placed a few land mines under Mr. Trump’s presidency as well.

Oleg D. Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general who now lives outside Washington, saw that as plausible. “Russia has huge experience in spreading false information,” he said.

So, what happens if the Media(D) has been spreading Russian propaganda for nigh-unto three years? Care to comment Buzzfeed?

How about you, CNN?

Yo, Helter Stelter, any wise words of advice for the news organizations (like yours) about getting the “little things wrong”? Because this wasn’t a little thing. Your network may very well have been the 2016-2019 version of Pravda. Bra-vo!

While The New York Times and many other news organizations published little about the document’s unverified claims, social media partisans and television commentators discussed them almost daily over the past two years. The dossier tantalized Mr. Trump’s opponents with a worst-case account of the president’s conduct. And for those trying to make sense of the Trump-Russia saga, the dossier infused the quest for understanding with urgency.

In blunt prose, it suggested that a foreign power had fully compromised the man who would become the next president of the United States.

And this is where we are today — 22 months of investigation and $30+million of taxpayer money used for what exactly? To promulgate Russian disinformation in order to sow discord in America? It appears that this may be exactly right.

F.B.I. agents considered whether Russia had polluted the stream of intelligence, but did not give it much credence, according to the former official.

But that is an issue to which multiple inquiries are likely to return. There has been much chatter among intelligence experts that Mr. Steele’s Russian informants could have been pressured to feed him disinformation.

Daniel Hoffman, a former C.I.A. officer who served in Moscow, said he had long suspected the dossier was contaminated by Russian fabrications. The goal, he said, would be to deepen American divisions and blur the line between truth and falsehood.

“How many times have hearings on Capitol Hill used information from the dossier?” Mr. Hoffman said. “How much damage has it already caused?”

Source: New York Times

(Emphasis added)

One surprising person who has been consistent in calling the Steele Dossier “garbage” is none other than Bob Woodward, the Washington Post reporter that broke the Watergate Scandal, who is no fan of President Trump.

Now, Woodward is saying that the discredited Dossier was cited early on — and he believes, pushed by the CIA — in the initial intelligence report on Russian interference. Serious intelligence agents balked at this and it was removed. Woodward says that because intelligence agencies relied so much on the ridiculous document compiled by Steele, the dossier itself should be investigated.

If the Steele dossier is indeed Russian disinformation, then it did indeed achieve its goal. Look at all the #NotMyPresident peeps on social media who are convinced that President Trump is Putin’s Puppet (or worse).

And the Media(D) — especially the ones over at CNN — were complicit.

So, who is it that was “colluding” with Russia again?

Hillary, the DNC, the “Deep State”… and the Media(D).

Great work, you guys.

Let’s end with one of President Trump’s finest moments:

Amen, brutha, amen!

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K. Walker

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker

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