Donald Trump Addresses Dossier’s Pedestrian Claims

Putin and his spies have no need for clandestine meetings in Central European capitals

Just 10 days before his inauguration as our 45th president, Donald Trump’s nascent administration has been turned upside down by new accusations of secret Russian machinations that aided his election. These new allegations are largely unsubstantiated and salacious to a degree never seen before about any American president.

First, CNN fired a shot across Trump’s bow late yesterday with a report alleging deep links between the president-elect and the Kremlin. Specifically, CNN stated that the heads of our Intelligence Community, who recently briefed Trump on Russian hacking and propaganda during 2016 that tried to influence our election, also informed the president-elect that Russian intelligence has compromising materials on him.

Kompromat, as they call it in Moscow, is the mother’s milk of Kremlin espionage, and given Trump’s larger-than-life persona, with its decades of dodgy finances and edgy dalliances with women, it should surprise no one that Russian spies have juicy information there which the public hasn’t seen, particularly given the president-elect’s numerous trips to Russia going back to 1987.

CNN noted that a dossier compiled by a former British intelligence official with long experience in Russian matters had been circulating in Washington since late last year, and was causing heartburn for American spies, since its allegations were explosive. Most seriously, it posited an on-going clandestine relationship between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to swing the election Trump’s way.

Just as the commentariat began to shudder at the implications of this bombshell, Buzzfeed released the actual dossier, 35 pages crammed with allegations of grave wrongdoing, including espionage by Trump surrogates against fellow Americans. This was a rather standard example of raw human intelligence reporting, a mishmash of claims, some of them obviously untrue. But the essence of its case—that Trump has been playing footsie with Vladimir Putin for years and knowingly accepted his secret help to win the White House—may well turn out to be true.

Read the rest at The Observer …