trump-putin-golden-showers.jpeg

The Intelligence That HAS Been Verified Is Nearly as Damning to Trump As the Golden Showers Claims

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | January 11, 2017 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | January 11, 2017 |


trump-putin-golden-showers.jpeg

I’m not sure that what Buzzfeed published last night is going to be good or bad in the long run. It certainly provided us all with an entertaining night of urine jokes, and whether the claims that Trump had paid prostitutes to pee on a hotel bed once slept on by the Obamas is verified or not, the perception is going to stick for four years. That is going to be part of Trump’s legacy, and every raving tweet he post to Twitter will receive 100 golden shower jokes.

On the other hand, what Buzzfeed did was very much confuse facts that were already potent. What has been verified, I am afraid, may get lost among all the more salacious information that hasn’t been verified (nor will probably ever be verified). In fact it was CNN who broke the original story last night. I covered it here, but minutes after I published it, the Buzzfeed story ran, which left me struggling to update our story, trying to be careful to separate what had been verified and what had not.

Let’s break this down.

Here’s what has not been verified:

— Buzzfeed published a 35-page dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent (who now runs a private intelligence gathering firm) that alleges extensive ties between Donald Trump and the Russians, collusion, blackmail, bribes, kickbacks, and salacious allegations about Donald Trump’s sexual preferences including golden showers and hentai porn.

Now, if we separate the dossier with the rest of the story, here is what we has been verified:

— John McCain saw the dossier and was “sufficiently impressed by the source’s credentials to feel obliged to pass them to the FBI.” He apparently had a face-to-face meeting with FBI director James Comey to discuss it.

— The intelligence community thought enough of the dossier to brief both President Obama and President Trump on it. The allegations were compiled in a two-page synopsis presented to Trump by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers.

— The man who compiled it, contrary to original reports coming out of the Buzzfeed story, is not unverified. He’s a former MI6 agent “whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible,” according to both CBS and CNN. According to a US Official who spoke to The Guardian, the former MI6 agent “is consistently reliable, meticulous and well-informed, with a reputation for having extensive Russian contacts.” In other words, this intelligence agent has provided information in the past that has proven to be accurate, and he has well-place sources within Russia.

— The dossier contained at least some claims that were subsequently verified. In it, for instance, the British former intelligence officer reported that in July that Carter Page, a businessman named by Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers, met with one of Putin’s lieutenants. That information was proven true by US Intelligence officials two months later. Moreover, the intelligence officer reported that Trump’s campaign had knowledge of the DNC hack over the summer and “had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue” if the Russians would release it. A few days later, Trump did indeed suggest that he might recognize the Russian’s annexation of Crimea. Moreover, despite having little input into the Republican platform at the Convention, Trump did insist that certain pro-Russian positions be added.

— The intelligence agent who compiled this information was originally asked to do so by Republicans who didn’t want Donald Trump to win. After the primary, the intelligence continued to be collected for the Clinton campaign. All of it was intended to be oppo research. However, the intelligence professional was so alarmed by what he learned that he sent it to the FBI.

— Russia had this information and did not release it, though they did release everything they had on Hillary Clinton.

— In October, the FBI requested a warrant to surveil four members of Trump’s team who were suspected of colluding with the Russians. The warrant was denied. However, according to another, different report that hasn’t been verified, the FBI was eventually granted the warrant in late October. We do not know the results of that investigation, and James Comey — just yesterday — refused to comment on whether an investigation is ongoing.

— Donald Trump’s actions have been consistent with the actions of a person who knows he could be blackmailed. He has praised Putin repeatedly, and he has endorsed pro-Russian policies, even though this positions are at odds with both his own political party and most of Americans. Politically speaking, there is no earthly reason for Donald Trump to take sides with our chief geopolitical enemy.

****

Taken together, there is plenty enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that Trump’s actions are consistent with a man who has been blackmailed by the Kremlin. There is verified evidence suggesting collusion. There is every reason to believe that the Russians have compromised Donald Trump, and that his positions on Russia have been shaped and will continue to be shaped by the leverage Putin has over him.

That sets the stage for some potentially very dangerous foreign policies.



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