The release of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on alleged misconduct by the FBI in its investigation of the Trump campaign in 2016 shredded any hint of legitimacy of the infamous Democrat-funded anti-Trump dossier compiled by Christopher Steele. The extensive IG report’s utter dismantling of any claims to the legitimacy of the dossier has given previous mainstream media coverage of the “dirty” document some rather devastating context.
The Steele Dossier, Horowitz’ investigation found, played a “central and essential role” in the FBI’s decision to surveil the Trump campaign. “We determined that the Crossfire Hurricane team’s receipt of Steele’s election reporting on September 19, 2016 played a central and essential role in the FBI’s and Department’s decision to seek the FISA order” targeting Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, reads the report.
Though it played a pivotal role in the decision to move forward with the surveillance of the Trump campaign, the dossier — created by oppo research firm Fusion GPS and funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign — was viewed by the CIA as based on “internet rumor” and was largely discredited by intelligence officials by the time it was used to help begin the surveillance of the Trump campaign, Horowitz explains.
The Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi summed up the report’s findings about the Steele Dossier in a piece titled, “‘Corroboration Zero’: An Inspector General’s Report Reveals the Steele Dossier Was Always a Joke” (formatting adjusted):
The Steele report reads like a pile of rumors surrounded by public information pulled off the Internet, and the Horowitz report does nothing to dispel this notion. At the time the FBI submitted its first FISA application, Horowitz writes, it had “corroborated limited information in Steele’s election reporting, and most of that was publicly available information.” Horowitz says of Steele’s reports: “The CIA viewed it as ‘internet rumor.’”
Worse (and this part of the story should be tattooed on the heads of Russia truthers), the FBI’s interviews of Steele’s sources revealed Steele embellished the most explosive parts of his report. The “pee tape” story, which inspired countless grave headlines (see this chin-scratching New York Times history of Russian “sexual blackmail”) and plunged the Trump presidency into crisis before it began, was, this source said, based a “conversation that [he/she] had over beers,” with the sexual allegations made… in “jest”!
Steele in his report said the story had been “confirmed” by senior, Western hotel staff, but the actual source said it was all “rumor and speculation,” never confirmed. In fact, charged by Steele to find corroboration, the source could not: corroboration was “zero,” writes Horowitz.
Taibbi goes on to list a few more glaring red flags with the dossier, but you get the point.
In light of the report’s findings, Grabien went back and looked at how the mainstream media reported on the claims of the “dirty dossier,” and what the outlet found was gravely damaging to the credibility of those supposedly tasked with giving Americans the facts.
Initially, mainstream outlets repeatedly assured their viewers that substantive details in the dossier had been “corroborated,” a claim that Horowitz made clear is false. When more and more claims in the Democrat-funded dossier were discredited, the media shifted to asserting that it hasn’t been “conclusively disproven.”
A few sample quotes from Grabien’s devastating supercut, which is packed with clips of various anchors, host and analysts from CNN and MSNBC, as well as a few Democratic lawmakers:
- “Parts of the now-infamous dossier on Donald Trump have proven to be true,” CNN tells its viewers.
- “I know the history of the dossier, but it hasn’t been discredited,” CNN’s Alisyn Camerota insists. “In fact, it’s been the opposite. It’s been corroborated.”
- “It hasn’t been discredited!” Camerota declares again. “Your intel community has corroborated all of the details in there!”
- “Some of the substantive content of the dossier we were able to corroborate in our intelligence community assessment, which, from other sources, in which we have very high confidence in,” insists CNN analyst and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
- “We know that with the FISA application, the relevant parts of Christopher Steele’s dossier were corroborated,” claims far-left Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu, asserting falsely in another clip: “We also know that as time goes on, more and more parts the Steele dossier get corroborated.”
- “If the application included information from the dossier, it would only be after the FBI had in fact corroborated information through its own investigation,” another CNN anchor assures the American people.
- “So when the president refers to it as ‘fake dossier,’ that is false?” a CNN host asks Clapper, who responds: “I don’t think that is an accurate characterization of the entirety of the dossier.”
Video below via Grabien:
SUPERCUT — Media to Americans: Of course the Trump dossier is true! pic.twitter.com/R2uOijnMeJ
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) December 13, 2019
Related: WaPo Admits: Republicans’ Famous Memo On FISA Abuse Blasted By Dems Ended Up Getting It Mostly Right