by WorldTribune Staff, July 12, 2017
While the major media continues to hunt for the tiniest scrap of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, Democrats openly tried to derail Donald Trump’s campaign and, when that proved unsuccessful, his agenda as president, using a phony dossier whose author got his disinformation from – Russia.
Democrats have widely circulated the discredited dossier by ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who was paid by the Democrat-funded opposition research firm Fusion GPS with money from a Hillary Clinton supporter.
“If anyone colluded with the Russians, it was the Democrats,” a former Trump campaign adviser who asked not to be identified because of the pending investigations, told Rowan Scarborough in a July 11 report for The Washington Times.
“After all, they’ve routinely shopped around false claims from the debunked Steele dossier, which listed sources including senior Kremlin officials. If anyone should be investigated in Washington, it ought to be Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Mark Warner and their staffers.”
That is a reference to Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Sen. Mark R. Warner, Virginia Democrat and vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; and Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California, Democrat on the House intelligence panel.
Steele’s dossier, which the author himself admitted contained unproven charges that came almost exclusively from sources linked to the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin, contains a series of unverified criminal charges against Trump’s campaign aides, such as coordinating Moscow’s hacking of Democratic Party computers.
Fusion GPS distributed the dossier among Democrats and journalists and the FBI used it in part to investigate Trump’s campaign aides.
Steele identified his sources as “a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure,” a former “top level Russian intelligence officer active inside the Kremlin,” a “senior Kremlin official” and a “senior Russian government official.”
Scarborough noted that “the same Democrats who have condemned Russia’s election interference via plying fake news and hacking email servers have quoted freely from the Steele anti-Trump memos derived from creatures of the Kremlin.”
In other words, “there is public evidence of significant, indirect collusion between Democrats and Russian disinformation,” a Trump supporter said.
One of the main targets of Steele’s dossier is Carter Page, who was a foreign policy adviser and surrogate for the Trump campaign.
Steele’s Russian sources accused Page of a series of crimes: teaming up with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to help Russia hack Democratic computers, meeting in Moscow with two Putin cronies to plot against Hillary Clinton and working out a shady brokerage deal with a Russian oligarch.
Page told The Washington Times that he has never met Manafort, knew nothing about Russian hacking when it was happening, never met the two Russians named by Steele and never completed the supposed investment deal.
Yahoo News, which cited intelligence sources and not Steele, ran with the story on Page and the Clinton campaign used the Yahoo story to attack Trump. A Sept. 23 press release from Clinton’s campaign was headlined “Hillary for America Statement on Bombshell Report About Trump Aide’s Chilling Ties to Kremlin”.
“After the report by Yahoo News, the Clinton campaign put out an equally false press release just minutes after the article was released that afternoon,” said Page.
“Of course, the [Clinton campaign representatives] were lying about it with the media nonstop for many months, and they’ve continued until this day,” Page said. “Both indirectly as they planted articles in the press and directly with many TV appearances.”
Before the Yahoo story, then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, was citing the discredited dossier.
On Aug. 27, with the campaign in high gear and knowledge that Russian hackers had penetrated Clinton campaign computers in the public domain, Reid released a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey.
Reid called for an investigation into Page’s trip to Moscow, where he supposedly “met with high-ranking sanctioned individuals. Any such meetings should be investigated and made part of the public record.”
Reid’s “evidence surely came from the dossier and its Russian sources,” Scarborough’s report said.
Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the election, have embraced Steele’s Russian-sourced dossier the most.
Schiff read from the dossier extensively at a March hearing featuring Comey and Navy Adm. Michael Rogers, who leads the National Security Agency.
While Schiff and other Democrats were bemoaning Kremlin activities against Clinton, they were more than willing to quote Kremlin sources attacking Trump during the election campaign, Scarborough’s report said.
Schiff lauded Steele for disclosing that Rosneft, a Russian-owned gas and oil company, planned to sell a 19.5 percent share to an investor and that Page was offered a brokerage fee.
But Schiff didn’t note that the 19.5 percent share was announced publicly by Moscow before Steele wrote about it. Page said he was never involved in any talk about a commission.
Schiff said: “According to Steele’s Russian sources, the campaign has offered documents damaging to Hillary Clinton, which the Russians would publish through an outlet that gives them deniability like WikiLeaks.”
Schiff also said: “According to Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, who is reportedly held in high regard by U.S. intelligence, Russian sources tell him that Page has also had a secret meeting with Igor Sechin, CEO of the Russian gas giant, Rosneft. Sechin is reported to be a former KGB agent and close friend of Putin’s.”
Page has said repeatedly that he does not know Sechin and did not meet with him in Moscow.
Meanwhile, Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas, another Democrat on the House intel committee, had praise for Steele’s Kremlin sourcing.
“I want to take a moment to turn to the Christopher Steele dossier, which was first mentioned in the media just before the election and published in full by media outlets in January,” Castro said. “My focus today is to explore how many claims within Steele’s dossier are looking more and more likely, as though they are accurate.
“This is not someone who doesn’t know how to run a source and not someone without contacts. The allegations it raises about President Trump’s campaign aides’ connections to Russians, when overlaid with known established facts and timelines from the 2016 campaign, are very revealing.”
Rep. Andre Carson, Indiana Democrat, said: “There’s a lot in the dossier that is yet to be proven, but increasingly as we’ll hear throughout the day, allegations are checking out.”
On MSNBC in March, Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, said she believed the dossier section on Trump and supposed sex acts with prostitutes in Moscow were true.
“Oh, I think it should be taken a look at,” she said. “I think they should really read it, understand it, analyze it and determine what’s fact, what may not be fact. We already know that the part about the coverage that they have on him with sex actions is supposed to be true. They have said that that’s absolutely true. Some other things they kind of allude to. Yes, I think he should go into that dossier and see what’s there.”
Fusion GPS widely circulated the dossier during the presidential campaign and BuzzFeed posted it online in January even though its editor said he doubted it was true.
One person who says he knows it is a fabrication is Russian entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev.
The dossier quotes Russian sources as saying Gubarev’s technology company, XBT, used botnets to flood Democratic computers with porn and spying devices.
Gubarev is suing Steele for libel in London and is suing BuzzFeed in Florida.
Steele acknowledged in the London case that his memo on Gubarev was unverified.