One of the most contentious presidential races in history has morphed into one of the most contentious periods of time leading up to the inauguration of a new president. We’ve already seen attempts to derail the Electoral College at several stages in the process as well as unverified and unsubstantiated attacks on the integrity of Mr. Trump.
We have now arrived at a point where a major news organization has broadcast unfounded news stories requiring the president-elect to intervene not only to correct the story, but to reprimand the news outlet, CNN, that originated it.
The story plays on the theme of Donald Trump’s willingness to treat Russia as a friend as opposed to an enemy and Newsweek begins here:
Now, according to a leaked annex to the combined U.S. intelligence agencies’ report on Kremlin intrigues in the American elections, Russian security agents watched Trump engaging in “perverted sexual acts” that were “arranged/monitored by the FSB,” the Kremlin’s leading spy agency. The FSB, it said, “employed a number of prostitutes to perform a golden showers (urination) show in front of him.” Not only that, according to the report’s anonymous Russian sources, Trump deliberately chose for his escapade “the Ritz Carlton hotel, where he knew President and Mrs. Obama (whom he hated) had stayed on one of their official trips to Russia and defiling the bed where they had slept.”
When it comes to the bizarre, that story certainly rings the bell. But is it true? The same news source confesses, “The veracity of the report and its sourcing have not been verified.” So it could be true or a complete fabrication from a bunch of pranksters. Makes you wonder why it was reported in the first place.
CNN’s report exploded like a star shell Tuesday night, throwing a blinding light on the Trump camp’s Russian connections like no other previous revelation. The cable channel cautioned that “the allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work U.S. intelligence officials consider credible” but had not been independently confirmed. “The memos originated as opposition research, first commissioned by anti-Trump Republicans, and later by Democrats,” CNN reported. But the channel added that the FBI “is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources.”
Again, no news agency is prepared to place its reputation on the line by declaring these accusations as true. And for good reason: The sources remain questionable.
We also have Senator McCain involved in the sharing of memos of questionable veracity.
“Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public,” McCain said in a statement on Wednesday. “Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgement about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI. That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue.”
The story becomes even more weird as allegations are made that the source of this story is a prankster on the internet site 4chan.
In a story that is getting more surreal by the minute, a post on 4Chan now claims that the infamous “golden showers” scene in the unverified 35-page dossier, allegedly compiled by a British intelligence officer, was a hoax and fabricated by a member of the chatboard as “fanfiction”, then sent to Rick Wilson, who proceeded to send it to the CIA, which then put it in their official classified intelligence report on the election.
In responding to this story at a press conference, Mr. Trump calls CNN “Fake News.”
CNN then responded to Mr. Trump’s remarks with claims of their own, basically asserting that they do not put on uncorroborated news. Draw your own conclusion on that.
We also have this from WikiLeaks, supporting the position that the whole thing is fabricated.
Evidence mounts as to the lack of credible sourcing for the CIA's report on Russia & Trump https://t.co/QcbnA8Rdjr
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 11, 2017
An except from the pseudo "intelligence report" "leaked" to Buzzfeed, who published it, ahead of Trump's press conference on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/X6z9mlboOW
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 11, 2017
It would seem that Mr. Trump is going to need a department just to deal with media attacks lest he spend all his time responding to matters such as this. What we also have is a mainstream media that is furious that it is no longer the gatekeeper on the news that Americans get, and more so, that they have competition from what is often called the alternative press that is not afraid to call their reporting into quesiton.
Source: The Hill