Following a report he had apparently watched on Fox News, President Donald Trump tweeted out on Tuesday his disbelief and continued agitation with a campaign dossier that had unearthed questionable ties between him and the Russian government in the years before his election.
Trump described the dossier as “bogus,” repeating claims made on Fox that portions of the dossier had not been verified by the FBI. Because of this, many on the right have questioned its veracity, suggesting that the dossier was part of a politically-motivated plan to discredit Trump.
WOW, @foxandfrlends “Dossier is bogus. Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI TAINTED.” And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2017
Trump added that “this Crooked HIllary pile of garbage,” as he described the dossier, was used “as the basis for going after the Trump campaign!”
Yet the dossier that Trump alludes to didn’t actually come out during the campaign at all. Its contents were revealed by BuzzFeed News in January, two months after Trump had won the presidency, and less than 10 days before he assumed office.
The investigation into Russia’s meddling in the U.S. presidential election last year was also what prompted the investigation to include members of Trump’s inner circle.
The dossier, which was compiled by former MI6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele, revealed how Trump’s business connections to the Kremlin could influence his policy as president. It also described salacious details about how Trump allegedly hired Russian prostitutes to urinate on a bed once occupied by former President Barack Obama during a trip to Moscow.
Trump has denied all aspects of the dossier, but parts of the report seem to fit the timelines of his travels, and other aspects of it seem to bear some semblance of truth, according to some analyses.
Trump’s assertions on Twitter against the dossier are also lacking in fact. While some parts of it have yet to be verified, that doesn’t mean they won’t be. The FBI investigation is still ongoing, and there are many facets of it that have not been revealed publicly.
Steele himself is a reliable investigator — it was his work that helped reveal a scandal in FIFA before he began work looking into then-candidate Donald Trump.
Trump also omits several facts in his tweet. While the dossier was funded in part by Democrats, part of it was also funded by a conservative publication, The Washington Free Beacon. The way Trump puts it, however, makes it seem that the investigation was a political hit job by Democrats alone.
The bottom line is this: It’s too soon to say that the dossier is 100 percent accurate, but it’s also too soon to say that it is completely made up. We'll only know the truth if the investigation is allowed to continue without interference from Trump himself.
The Fox News report that Trump is quoting is itself bogus — parts of the dossier seem to be accurate, and the FBI investigation is uncovering more unnerving aspects of Trump’s relationship with Russia during his campaign. That investigation should be allowed to continue, and these attempts by the right to discredit the investigation should be halted at once.