A Special Report from the Accuracy in Media Center for Investigative Journalism; Cliff Kincaid, Director
Where are the Sex Tapes?
CNN’s report on FBI Director James Comey’s promotion of the “Trump dossier” makes no mention of the dossier’s fake claim of a sex-tape (which wasn’t actually made or seen by anyone), which supposedly caught Trump in a “compromising” act in Moscow. The disgusting “sex perversion” allegation now seems to be getting dropped as an embarrassment since it never got any traction, unlike the fake claim of a Russian conspiracy with Trump, which persists like a cancer.
“If a story isn’t playing well or if there is too much credible pushback, the perpetrators simply move on without apology or correction.” That is what The Washington Post said in explaining how Russian “kompromat,” or “compromising,” material works in the media. They seem unaware of the supreme irony since it perfectly describes the Post’s own anti-Trump playbook in perpetrating the weaving of conspiracy theories involving Russia and Trump based on the “dossier.”
More than $2 million in offered rewards have failed to turn up the nonexistent Russian intelligence sex tape on Trump—which even the “dossier” does not say was actually made or that the alleged act was actually witnessed by anyone. Two porn magazines, Penthouse and Hustler, offered the $2 million to anyone who could provide the Trump sex tapes, but after several months there has been absolutely nothing. (See BBC). This goes unmentioned by the vast majority of the media.
The Stanford Russia expert and Forbes contributor Paul Roderick Gregory points to many signs of the Russian origin of the “Trump dossier.” Besides the KGB-style writing that calls it all into question, there is also the Russian “gossip junky” style, careful avoidance of verifiable facts, outlandish claims to exclusive “fly-on-the-wall” inside knowledge of Putin’s inner circle, and claims to “know more than is knowable” about “just about every conceivable event associated with” the alleged Trump-Russia conspiracy. Gregory says that the “dossier’s” stories are “so bizarre” that they “fail the laugh test,” and are such “utter nonsense, not worthy of a wacky conspiracy theory of an alien invasion.”
It turns out that this imaginary Russian blackmail sex tape of Trump is all based on the fantasy gossip of two Russian hotel maids who themselves saw nothing (anonymous “female staffers” of the hotel, “E” and “F,” says the “dossier,” not managers or executives with greater responsibility or credibility).
The hotel maids only passed on the hearsay “story” they were “aware” of from still other anonymous source(s)—apparently another hotel maid or two—but did not know the date and were unsure even of the year, though they “believed” it was in 2013 (“Trump dossier,” Steele report, June 20, 2016).
The “story” is skimpy on factual detail. The pro-Hillary Russia lobbying firm, Fusion GPS, and its agent Christopher Steele tread a fine line between too little detail and too much detail—the more the detail, the easier to slip up in fabricating fake facts, and the more easily refuted by thorough fact-checking.
And that’s all there is. No names, no dates, no witnesses, no tapes, no evidence, no nothing.
Hillary Campaign Collusion with Loretta Lynch?
In a long piece on April 22, The New York Times attempted to figure out FBI Director Comey’s puzzling actions, in the course of which they dropped a bombshell. The Times reported that in early 2016 the FBI received copies of some emails and attached documents that had reportedly been hacked by the Russians.
One document was a disturbing “memo and an e-mail” from a Democrat Party “operative” who was “confident” that Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch would curtail and contain the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s infamous private email server, i.e., perpetrate a Watergate-style cover-up.
Collusion between the Obama administration and the Hillary campaign has been strongly suspected, especially since the infamous secret meeting of Attorney General Lynch with Bill Clinton on the tarmac in Phoenix. This “could be read as a message to Lynch that she’d better not charge Hillary if she expected to keep her job.” Bill Clinton didn’t even have to discuss the email server investigation with Lynch, as pointed out by the embedded reporters on the Hillary campaign in their sympathetic postmortem book Shattered.
But conservatives, they note, already “had pretty good circumstantial evidence that the Obama Justice Department and the Clinton [campaign] operation were coordinating on the e-mail scandal.”
Interestingly, this damning email the FBI obtained—about their boss Lynch rigging the Hillary email-server investigation—was never part of the WikiLeaks emails leaked from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary campaign chair John Podesta, or the “Trump dossier’s” schizo-conspiracy. So where did it come from?
The New York Times claims that unnamed “intelligence agencies” of unspecified nations could look inside nebulous and undefined “Russian networks” to “see” and copy what U.S. emails had been hacked, and that the bombshell email on AG Lynch was one of them. The FBI was merely a recipient of the hacked material and did no cyber warfare itself. No official U.S. agency is credited with the “seeing.”
This is not mere speculation. Soon after the Obama administration claimed on October 7 that Russia was interfering with the election, Newsweek reported on November 4 that “Ukrainian hackers began postingemails and other documents obtained from inside the Kremlin, although it is not clear if this effort was done in coordination with the American government [or in what time frame the hacking was done]” (emphasis added).
If U.S. agencies were using anonymous Ukrainian hackers—not U.S. cyber agencies—to “see” into supposed “Russian networks,” then the attribution to “Russia” or the “Kremlin” would hinge entirely on the unknown Ukrainians’ credibility, veracity and cyber skills. Clearly, no one in the U.S. Intelligence Community is willing to say this is conclusive proof of anything.
Even the “DNC” emails may not have come from the DNC. The Hillary campaign found some evidence that some or all of the DNC emails could have come from Hillary confidante Capricia Marshall’s email account or even John Podesta’s, according to the just-released book on the “doomed” Hillary campaign (Allen & Parnes, Shattered, chapter 18).
Like Comey, they were caught in the “wilderness of mirrors,” in which nobody is quite sure who is deceiving whom.
Next Up in Part Three: The Role of the CIA’s John Brennan