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October 25, 2017

#FusionCollusion: 10 Facts About the Steele Dossier That Liberal Reporters Must Finally Acquaint Themselves With

Actually, they probably are acquainted with much of this. The problem is, they're all great chums of FusionGPS head Glenn Simpson, as Mollie Hemingway notes, and perhaps are compromised as far as reporting the whole truth about the information op their buddy ran against Trump on behalf of Hillary Clinton (and perhaps a foreign client to be named later...?).

7) Fusion GPS' ties to media are problematic

The principals at Fusion GPS are well connected to mainstream media reporters. They are former journalists themselves, and know how to package stories and provide information to push narratives. They are, in fact, close friends with some of the top reporters who have covered the Russia-Trump collusion story.

Fusion GPS has placed stories with friendly reporters while fighting Congressional investigators’ attempts to find out the group’s sources of funding. Fusion GPS leaders have taken the 5th and fought subpoenas for information about the group's involvement with Russia. Their close friendships with key reporters on these stories have paid huge dividends for the firm, although these friendships and cooperative relationships have not served the public well.

...

Fusion GPS was responsible for the dossier. But the group's larger narrative push to reporters is even more influential, and a difficult story to unpack due to defensiveness, embarrassment, and outright media complicity.

Have any of the people working on this recused themselves from reporting on it due to their compromised position with respect to their great friend Glenn Simpson? Or have they decided to chuck that part of journalistic ethics out the window, too?

Must read piece that re-capitulates the most important points about this affair.

There's so much in here (all ten points, actually) worth excerpting, but I'll just quote one more: My old hobbyhorse.

Why did Comey "brief" Trump on the dossier?

As I've long suggested: This was a fake briefing to give the dossier a "news hook" so that CNN could and would report it. The dossier was unverified, which is why no one would touch it; but then Comey "briefed" Trump about it, giving CNN an excuse to talk about a document which was itself unverified and in places provably false.

Was this entire point of the briefing? Just so Comey and Clapper could get CNN to report on this?

8) Jim Comey personally briefed Trump on the dossier, shortly before CNN reported it

As confirmed by the Washington Post, the Russia-Trump collusion narrative was a Clinton campaign political operation. The dossier itself was shopped around by Fusion GPS a year ago to the New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo News, the New Yorker, and CNN, according to lawyers for the ex-spy who worked on the dossier. The dossier was so unverifiable that the only reporter to bite was from Mother Jones.

What really got the ball rolling on the last year's Russia-Trump conspiracy theory, then, was not the dossier itself but the briefing of it by Obama intelligence chiefs to President-elect Trump in January. Jim Comey admitted under oath that DNI Clapper asked him to personally brief President Trump about this dossier. The fact of that meeting was quickly leaked to CNN.

Given the dossier's many problems, was the entire purpose of the meeting to produce the leak that the meeting happened? No one was biting on the dossier and it needed legitimization by opponents of Trump. If the dossier was so shoddy that it was debunked in hours after BuzzFeed posted it in all its salacious glory, why brief the president and president-elect on it, much less leak it? What was the real purpose of that meeting, and that leak to CNN?

Someone on Twitter, I think Sean Davis, asked: Did Comey tell Trump that the dossier itself came from Hillary Clinton's camp? If not, why not?

I'll answer his question for him: No, Comey hid this from Trump.

I'm 99.99% sure of that. How am I sure of it?

Because if Comey had told Trump "This dossier came from a rival candidate's oppo research efforts," is it even faintly plausible Trump would have refrained from Tweeting that out immediately?!

No, that's not plausible.

So Comey "briefed" the president without telling him it was a Clinton document.

Here's why I speculate he withheld that:

Precisely because he didn't want the planned leak to CNN to be tainted by the "Clinton paid for this garbage" storyline. He wanted the leak out there standing on its own. So he deliberately withheld highly-relevant information from the president he was supposedly "briefing" so that he could have all important knowledge about a dossier he claimed was important.

Comey has previously shown a low animal cunning when it comes to planting stories in the press.

Was this entire "briefing" of Trump a fiction to conceal its real purpose, which was to "brief" CNN with a document that was otherwise untouchable?

All signs point to Yes.

Investigate. Appoint a special counsel.

Update: Earlier, Jake Tapper claimed another reporter was "correct" to say the "Russian dossier' started as Republican funded effort. Sean Davis quickly corrected him, saying, No, the Republican-funded file was about Trump's business interests, and that effort went nowhere (and I'm not sure that even was Republican funded-- no on-the-record source for that); the Russia part of the FusionCollusion only began when Hillary and the DNC started paying Fusion.

Jake Tapper then began a series of angry tweets telling Sean Davis why his apple was really a banana and even though he was wrong, in a Bigger Sense, he was right.

Anyway, Tapper then said something snarky like "I hope you'll apply the same standards at The Federalist."

Sean Davis replied:


Yes, about that.

Evan Perez has been on the byline of just about every story CNN has run about the "Russia Collusion." These stories feature "sources" with knowledge of the dossier.

Would it surprise you terribly to hear that Evan Perez, who reports on Fusion's files, and Glenn Simpson, who created Fusion's files, used to write a heck of a lot of stories together, sharing a byline at the Wall Street Journal a whole heck of alot?

Is Evan Perez a friend of Simpson's? Is he a close friend? If he is, why is he acting as a reporter on a story he's compromised on, rather than directing Glenn Simpson to talk to a non-compromised-by-friendship reporter at CNN?

Is that why CNN speaks no evil about FusionGPS and Glenn Simpson?

Is that ethical?

Is the rule that you shouldn't play "objective reporter" about a source you're close to now a Banana Rule and no longer an Apple Rule?


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posted by Ace at 02:00 PM

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