[Vision2020] Steele Dossier Contradicts Trump on Six Accounts
ngier006 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 9 21:51:58 PST 2018
Washington Post, 1/9/18
It's not made up. It wasn't politically motivated. And it did not set out
with the intention to smear President Trump.
That's what the co-founder of a research firm, Fusion GPS, told Congress
about a dossier his firm produced during the presidential campaign. Glenn
Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, testified before the Senate
Judiciary Committee for 10 hours in August about research that was
originally started by a conservative news site, and that Hillary Clinton's
campaign paid for to continue. Ultimately, the dossier claimed Trump's
campaign colluded with Russia, something Trump has vigorously denied but
also something neither special counsel Robert S. Mueller III nor Congress
have ruled out.
Against a backdrop of Trump and Republicans claiming the dossier was
politically motivated, Senate Democrat Dianne Feinstein released the
Republican support, on Tuesday.
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The Fix skimmed most of the nearly 300 pages of the transcript
to bring you the most politically notable nuggets and to note how they
contradict what Trump and his supporters have been saying.
*1. Researchers weren't expecting to find what they did:* The research
started as open-ended, but as they uncovered more about Trump's alleged
connections to Russia, Simpson said, he and former British spy Christopher
Steele, whom Simpson hired to do the research, made a decision to go to the
“The purpose of this was to see if we could learn more, generally speaking,
about his business dealings in Russia. What came back was something very
different and obviously more alarming,” Simpson said. “... To me this was
like, you know, you're driving to work and you see something happen and you
call 911,” he said in another part of the testimony.
*How this contradicts Trump and his supporters*: Trump has accused the firm
of specifically setting out and colluding with Democrats and even the FBI
to find something incriminating on him.
*2. There may have been a whistleblower in the Trump campaign*: This is the
biggest headline from 10 hours of interviews. Simpson says Steele told him
that the FBI had “other intelligence about this matter from an internal
Trump campaign source,” someone “inside the Trump organization.”
“It was someone like us who decided to pick up the phone and report
something,” Simpson said. Who this person is unclear. It's also possible
Simpson misspoke, confusing a whistleblower with an Australian diplomat
who heard a Trump adviser, George Papadopoulos, say he knew Russia had dirt
on Hillary Clinton.
*How this contradicts Trump's side:* Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions
and Donald Trump Jr. have all maintained in public comments and, for the
latter two, in congressional testimony, that they did not collude, nor know
anyone who colluded with Russia.
*3. The FBI indicated it believed some of what was in the memos*: After
Steele and Simpson called the FBI to report that they had reason to believe
the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia, Simpson said, the FBI asked
Steele to share everything. A couple months after Steele gave the FBI a
full briefing, the FBI said that it believed him, according to Simpson.
*How this contradicts Trump's side:* There's been a growing movement
to suggest the dossier was merely a convenient tool that the FBI used to
investigate the next president of the United States.
*4. Some news events have corroborated the memo's findings:* Simpson points
out that Steele's memo alleged members of the Trump campaign were eager to
hear information from Russia. A year later, Trump Jr. released emails
suggesting as much, when he said
“If it's what you say I love it” to correspondence indicating that Russians
had dirt on Clinton.
The dossier also identified former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page
as a potential intermediary between the Trump campaign and Russia. The
Washington Post reported
in April that Page was wiretapped by the FBI during the campaign,
suggesting it had reason to believe Page was in contact with the Russians
while he worked for Trump.
*How this contradicts Trump's side:* Trump has repeatedly said everything
in there is fake.
*5. Steele, the former British spy, is a “Boy Scout”:* That's how Simpson,
who has a nearly decade-long working relationship with him, described the
author of the dossier. It's one of the reasons he trusted Steele's
information so much and agreed with Steele's expertise that they should
contact the FBI with what they found.
Simpson pointed out that Steele was the lead Russian expert in British
intelligence and said he “has a sterling reputation as a person who doesn't
exaggerate, doesn't make things up, doesn't sell baloney.”
*How this contradicts Trump's side:* Republicans have tried to go after
Steele as not trustworthy. Last week, two top Republican senators made
public that they asked the Justice Department to investigate Steele for
allegedly lying about how he disseminated the dossier. They don't go into
more details, making their request odd
but the insinuation is out there: Steele is a liar. Don't believe him.
*6. Fusion GPS is not funded by Democrats nor Russia: *White House press
secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has said from the podium that Fusion GPS
is “Democratic-linked” and that it took money from the Russian government.
Neither of those assertions are true, Simpson said.
“The allegation that we were working for the Russian government then or
ever is simply not true. I don't know what to say. It's political rhetoric
to call the dossier phony. The memos are field reports of real interviews
that Chris's network conducted and there's nothing phony about it. We can
argue about what's prudent and what's not, but it's not a fabrication,” he
With regard to his company's political leanings, Simpson said: “We're not
an appendage to the Democratic Party. We run a commercial business, we're
all ex-journalists. We take clients from both sides of the aisle. We have a
long history of that, I'm proud of that. I'm happy to say I have lots of
Republican clients and friends.”
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they
shall never sit in.
“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.
Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance
from another. This immaturity is self- imposed when its cause lies not in
lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without
guidance from another. Sapere Aude! ‘Have courage to use your own
understand-ing!—that is the motto of enlightenment.
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