Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought we knew, months ago, that most of the funding for what eventually became known as the “Steele dossier” came from Democrats. I’m not exactly sure how it’s “breaking news” that the DNC and Clinton’s campaign did opposition research on her 2016 political opponent, Donald Trump.
Though this shouldn’t be confused with Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian officials promising him “dirt on Clinton” delivered by way of a Russian cyber attack ordered by Vladimir Putin. There’s a huge difference between legally hiring help to investigate an opponent’s background, and accepting stolen information from a foreign adversary obtained through an illegal cyber attack.
Furthermore, while Trump, Republicans, and the rest of the conservative media try to spin all of this into “proof” that everything in the Steele dossier is “fake and can’t be trusted” (a lot of the information contained within it has actually been confirmed as factual), the fact of the matter is, it wasn’t Hillary Clinton or the DNC that initially hired Fusion GPS to investigate Trump and his possible ties to Russia — it was Republicans.
From The Washington Post:
Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.
After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.
The keyword in all of that being “retained.”
While the Clinton campaign and the DNC helped fund this research, it was initially ordered by unknown Republicans who, during the GOP primary, were trying to derail Trump’s campaign. After it became clear that he was going to win the party’s nomination no matter what they ultimately found, this order was cancelled by whatever Republicans had initially paid for it.
Though as The Wall Street Journal’s Byron Tau discovered, when the RNC pushed this story, they purposely omitted the part that said, “Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary”:
The RNC just sent around the Post’s Fusion GPS story with this very critical line removed. pic.twitter.com/vC2NXW7om4
— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) October 25, 2017
Why would the RNC not include that very key piece of information?
Oh, that’s right, because including it wouldn’t support the narrative they’re trying to push that Fusion GPS and the Steele dossier aren’t credible because their work was partially funded by the DNC and Clinton’s campaign. The GOP doesn’t want conservatives to know that this company was initially hired by Republicans to find dirt on Trump, hoping to keep him from winning the party’s nomination.
Not only is Christopher Steele a highly respected member of the intelligence community, but Republicans apparently viewed Fusion GPS as a fairly credible company considering they were the ones who initially had them doing research on Trump’s background.
Besides, it doesn’t matter who paid for Fusion GPS to investigate Trump.
If I run for office and my campaign hires a private investigator to do research on my opponent to provide me with any information I might be able to use against them, that doesn’t mean that investigator is beholden to fabricating information just to appease me. I’d want them to find real, concrete evidence that I’d be able to use. Not “fake news” and unfounded fabrications I couldn’t prove. If that’s all I wanted, and I didn’t care about credibility, then I could simply just make stuff up without wasting money for someone to give me information that’s not credible.
You know, like Trump often does.
Then there’s the fact that Steele took this information to the FBI and other intelligence agencies. He didn’t rush out to leak it to the media. Nobody outside of a handful of people even knew about the Steele dossier until after the election.
That brings me to my next question: If Clinton hired Fusion GPS just to slander Trump with fake news to help her campaign, then why didn’t she bring up the Steele dossier during the election?
What’s the point of the DNC and Clinton’s campaign paying all this money to have this research done only to never use it?
Steele was finished months before the election. Yet despite his work being completed, Clinton wasn’t using this information during her campaign. No one “leaked” this dossier to the media to be published in time to potentially impact the results of last year’s election.
If this was nothing more than Clinton-funded anti-Trump “fake news and propaganda,” then why didn’t they use it? Why wasn’t Clinton’s campaign making sure the media, which Trump and Republicans claim were working for her anyway, was provided the information about Russian blackmail, prostitutes, and the infamous “pee tape”?
Then there’s always the fact that the U.S. intelligence community apparently found this information credible enough to bring it to the attention of Barack Obama and Donald Trump before we swore in our 45th “president.”
So are Trump, Republicans, and the conservative media trying to claim that the DNC and Clinton paid for Fusion GPS to dig up “fake news” on Trump, only to never use anything Steele found during the campaign even though his investigation wrapped up months before last year’s election, all while the U.S. intelligence community was somehow in on all of this to such an extent that — they waited until after the election to bring it to the attentions of Obama and Trump?
That doesn’t make any sense — none of this does.
Whether or not the information contained within the Steele dossier is ever fully verified is anybody’s guess at this point. While some of it has been proven to be factual, most of the more controversial aspects of it have yet to be verified.
Nevertheless, as Donald Trump, Republicans, and the conservative media do their best to spin this “scandal” into a blatant attempt to undermine the credibility of people looking into this “president’s” background, the bottom line is, it wasn’t the DNC or Hillary Clinton who initially hired Fusion GPS to dig into Trump’s background — it was Republicans. The fact that the RNC omitted that fact from The Washington Post report when they pushed this story proves that they definitely don’t want their supporters knowing that crucial detail because that wouldn’t support the lies, propaganda, and blatant misinformation they’re trying to push.