Trump’s Enemies are using the Fake “Golden Showers” Dossier to implement a witch hunt in order to destroy the President.
Among other things this Dossier claims that Trump hired a number of Russian Prostitutes to urinate on a bed once slept in by Barrack Obama
The Trump Dossier Is Fake — And Here Are The Reasons Why
A former British intelligence officer, who is now a director of a London private security-and-investigations firm, has been identified as the author of the dossier of unverified allegations about President-elect Donald Trump’s activities and connections in Russia, according to the Wall Street Journal. A Christopher Steele, a director of London-based private intelligence company, Orbis, purportedly prepared the dossier under contract to both Republican and Democratic adversaries of then-candidate Trump. The poor grammar and shaky spelling plus the author’s use of KGB-style intelligence reporting, however, do not fit the image of a high-end London security company run by highly connected former British intelligence figures.
The PDF file of the 30-page typewritten report alleges that high Kremlin officials colluded with Trump, offered him multi-billion dollar bribes, and accumulated compromising evidence of Trump’s sexual escapades in Russia. That the dossier comes from former British intelligence officers appears, at first glance, to give it weight especially with Orbis’ claim of a “global network.” The U.S. intelligence community purportedly has examined the allegations but have not confirmed any of them. We can wait till hell freezes over. The material is not verifiable.
President-elect Trump has dismissed the dossier’s contents as false as has the Kremlin. Trump is right: The Orbis dossier is fake news.
I have studied Russia and the Soviet Union professionally since the mid-1960s. I have visited Russia as a scholar, as the head of a multi-year petroleum legislation project, and as a business consultant close to one hundred times. My first visit was in 1965 shortly after Nikita Khrushchev’s removal. I have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances in Russia, and I follow the Russian press regularly. I personally witnessed the creation in the early 90s of Russia’s giant energy concerns in the offices of the oil minister. I met with St. Petersburg officials in the early 90s but do not remember meeting then deputy mayor, Vladimir Putin. I have written and co-authored reports for the State Department, Congress, and the intelligence community; so I sort of know how these things work.
With the brief exception of the early to late 1990s, Russia has had a non-transparent system of rule that deliberately reveals little about itself. Both insiders and outsiders must look for subtle signs and signals. Russians and Russian experts are gossip junkies. They recite their tales of who is up and who is down to those foolish enough to listen. Outside researchers must grasp for flimsy straws to write their scholarly articles and books. Despite the greater openness of contemporary Russia, we are back to Kremlinology to learn how Putin’s kleptocracy works.
The Orbis report makes as if it knows all the ins-and-outs and comings-and-goings within Putin’s impenetrable Kremlin. It reports information from anonymous “trusted compatriots,” “knowledgeable sources,” “former intelligence officers,” and “ministry of foreign affairs officials.” The report gives a fly-on-the-wall account of just about every conceivable event associated with Donald Trump’s Russian connections. It claims to know more than is knowable as it recounts sordid tales of prostitutes, “golden showers,” bribes, squabbles in Putin’s inner circle, and who controls the dossiers of kompromat (compromising information).
There are two possible explanations for the fly-on-the-wall claims of the Orbis report: Either its author (who is not Mr. Steele) decided to write fiction, or collected enough gossip to fill a 30-page report, or a combination of the two. The author of the Orbis report has one more advantage: He knew that what he was writing was unverifiable. He advertises himself as the only Kremlin outsider with enough “reliable” contacts to explain what is really going within Putin’s office.
As someone who has worked for more than a decade with the microfilm collection of Soviet documents in the Hoover Institution Archives, I can say that the dossier itself was compiled by a Russian, whose command of English is far from perfect and who follows the KGB (now FSB) practice of writing intelligence reports, in particular the practice of capitalizing all names for easy reference. The report includes Putin’s inner circle – Peskov, Ivanov, Sechin, Lavrov. The anonymous author claims to have “trusted compatriots” who knew the roles that each Kremlin insider, including Putin himself, played in the Trump election saga and were prepared to tell him.
The Orbis report spins the tale of Putin insiders, spurred on by Putin himself, engaging in a five-year courtship of Donald Trump in which they offer him lucrative real estate deals that he rejects but leaves himself open to blackmail as a result of sexual escapades with prostitutes in St. Petersburg and Moscow (the famous “golden shower” incident). Despite his reluctance to enter into lucrative business deals, Trump “and his inner circle have accepted regular intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals,” according to the Orbis report.
This story makes no sense. In 2011, when the courtship purportedly begins, Trump was a TV personality and beauty pageant impresario. Neither in the U.S. or Russia would anyone of authority anticipate that Trump would one day become the presidential candidate of a major U.S. political party, making him the target of Russian intelligence.
“Speaking to a trusted compatriot in mid-October 2015, a close associate of Rosneft President and PUTIN ally Igor SECHIN elaborated on the reported secret meeting between the latter and Carter PAGE, of US Republican presidential candidate’s foreign policy team, in Moscow in July 2016. The secret had been confirmed to him/her by a senior member of staff, in addition to the Rosneft President himself…Sechin’s associate said that the Rosneft President was so keen to lift personal and corporate Western sanctions imposed on the company, that he offered PAGE associates the brokerage of up to a 19 per cent (privatized) stake in Rosneft in return PAGE had expressed interest and confirmed that were TRUMP elected US president, then sanctions on Russia would be lifted.”
This story is utter nonsense, not worthy of a wacky conspiracy theory of an alien invasion.
To offer Trump either the entirety of, or a brokerage commission on, the market value of 19.5% of Rosneft shares—even a 6 percent commission on $12 billion worth of Rosneft shares would amount to an astonishing $720 million—would deplete the cash that Putin desperately needed for military spending and budget deficits, all in return for a promise to lift sanctions if—and what a big “if”—Trump were elected. Rosneft, as a public company, would have to conceal that the U.S. president was a party to this major transaction. This remarkable secret-of-secrets seems to be bandied about to an Orbis “trusted compatriot,” a senior member of Sechin’s staff, and disclosed by Sechin himself. I guess there are a lot of loose lips in Rosneft offices.
The story of the purported bribe was picked up by the Russian liberal press directly from the Orbis report without comment but with a big question marks in the title “A 10.5 billion Euro bribe? Putin and Sechin gifted Trump 19.5% of Rosneft shares? This story has given Putin’s weak opposition the chance to accuse him of wasting national treasure on a stupid bribe.
The huge bribe for (perhaps) lifting the sanctions makes Nikita Khrushchev’s hare-brained schemes—for which he was fired—look eminently reasonable.
One of the few verifiable facts in the Orbis report is the key role played by Trump’s “personal lawyer” Michael Cohen. Cohen purportedly took over the negotiation of the Sechin deal, and, when the Kremlin got cold feet over its hacking campaign, it turned to Cohen to cover up the operation, meet with the Kremlin’s Presidential Administration, and make illicit payments to shut up and move the hackers to Bulgaria. A key meeting was held in Prague in August of 2016 with Cohen accompanied by three colleagues. The meetings took place in the offices of a Russian quasi-state organization, Rossotrudnichestvo.
Cohen has denied any such meetings with the Kremlin Presidential administration and claims never to have visited Prague. According to the Orbis report, Cohen engaged in potential criminal activities, such as illicit payoffs to hackers and the buying of their silence. I doubt that he will let such accusations pass.
Another noteworthy claim of the Orbis report is that Vladimir Putin personally directed Russia’s intervention in the 2016 campaign: “The TRUMP operation was both supported and directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Its aim was to sow discord both within the U.S. itself, but more especially within the Transatlantic alliance.” The Orbis report claims that Putin personally controlled the dossier compiled on Hillary Clinton and held by his spokesperson, Peskov. He ordered that any disposition of the Clinton file would be decided by him personally.
I have picked out just a few excerpts from the Orbis report. It was written, in my opinion, not by an ex British intelligence officer but by a Russian trained in the KGB tradition. It is full of names, dates, meetings, quarrels, and events that are hearsay (one an overheard conversation). It is a collection of “this important person” said this to “another important person.” There is no record; no informant is identified by name or by more than a generic title. The report appears to fail the veracity test in the one instance of a purported meeting in which names, dates, and location are provided. Some of the stories are so bizarre (the Rosneft bribe) that they fail the laugh test. Yet, there appears to be a desire on the part of some media and Trump opponents on both sides of the aisle to picture the Orbis report as genuine but unverifiable.
After reading the Orbis report I got the queasy feeling that it may have influenced the intelligence community’s unclassified report. Leaks of classified bits by NBCNews and the Washington Post suggest the findings were, in part, based on British intelligence and spies. I wonder if the reference is to Putin’s role, which the intelligence report characterized as direct. This is a matter the new administration must look into.
We have reached a sad state of affairs where an anonymous report, full of bizarre statements, captures the attention of the world media because it casts a shadow over the legitimacy of a President-elect, who has not even taken the oath of office. For example, the Trump dossier is tonight’s lead item on German state television and on BBC. False news has become America’s international export to the world media.
Democrats cling to intel dossier riddled with fiction in desperate attempt to take down Trump
Three men — Mr. Trump’s attorney, a campaign volunteer and a tech company CEO — have publicly said that the parts about them in the dossier are fiction.
The New York Times reported that the FBI offered Mr. Steele $50,000 to continue investigating Mr. Trump and his aides.
The 35-page dossier by Mr. Steele has taken on critical importance in recent weeks for Democrats in Washington. They cite its accusations without corroboration as the reason for a special commission to investigate Mr. Trump and his aides for a supposed role in Russia’s hacking of Democratic Party email servers.
Lost in the Democrats’ endorsements are the people who say Mr. Steele’s supposed chronicle of meetings and misdeeds is untrue. McClatchy News reported that the man Mr. Steele identified as spearheading part of the hacking operation was (and still is) in a Russia prison at the time with no access to the internet or a cellphone.
Mr. Steele was paid by Fusion GPS, a Democratic Party-aligned opposition research firm that was trying to bring down the Trump candidacy last year. Fusion GPS spread the dossier around Washington to reporters and Democrats.
Once it was published in January by Buzzfeed, whose editor doubted its accuracy, the denials started.
Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, said he has never been to Prague — the city where Mr. Steele said he met secretly in late August with Russian intelligence to discuss Moscow’s hacking and how to cover it up. When the supposed meeting took place, Mr. Cohen was with his family in Southern California. He has shown his passport to Mr. Trump and aides and provided his itinerary for when he visited California.
Carter Page, a volunteer Trump campaign surrogate, said he never met in Moscow with two Kremlin-connected men, an oil executive and a Kremlin figure. Mr. Steele said Mr. Page, who was in Moscow to give two pubic talks, met them and planned Russia’s hack into the Democratic National Committee.
Mr. Page, who has done business with Russian energy firms for more than a decade, said he has never met Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager. Mr. Steele said the two conspired as liaisons to Russian intelligence.
The CEO of a Russian tech company, Aleksej Gubarev, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Mr. Steele. Mr. Steele accused Mr. Gubarev’s XBT Holdings of “using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data” against Democrats.
Though it has not received a lot of attention, there is another Steele-described conspiracy for which public evidence is lacking.
Mr. Steele’s plot line revolves around a Russian diplomat named Mikhail Kalugin. Mr. Kalugin headed the economic section at the Russian Embassy in Washington, where he was posted for six years before returning in August to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, where he works today.
Mr. Steele, in one of his last memos to Fusion GPS that comprised the complete dossier, spins a far more sinister tale. Mr. Kalugin was at the center of an illegal money-skimming operation run out of the embassy. Pensions destined for Russian veterans in the U.S. were diverted to fund the hacking of Democratic Party computer networks.
Encounters with Kalugin
The alleged Russian hacking brought intense political and media heat on Moscow in August.
Moscow abruptly whisked Mr. Kalugin out of Washington, Mr. Steele wrote, in a Sept. 14 memo titled “US: Kremlin Fallout from Media Exposure of Moscow’s interference in the U.S. presidential campaign.”
Mr. Steele wrote, “Finally, speaking separately to the same compatriot, a senior Russian [minister of foreign affairs] official reported that as a prophylactic measure, a leading Russian diplomat, Mikhail [Kalugin], had been withdrawn from Washington at short notice because Moscow feared his heavy involvement in the US presidential election operation, including the so-called veterans pensions ruse (reported previously), would be exposed in the media there.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry denied all of Mr. Steele’s charges involving Mr. Kalugin and pensions.
Vladimir Putin’s government also denied hacking Democrats in the face of U.S. intelligence assessments that it did, so a Russian denial of Mr. Kalugin is not definitive.
But there is independent evidence that Mr. Steele’s story is wrong.
Americans who knew Mr. Kalugin and worked with him on economic projects said he told them months before his departure that he and his family planned to return to Russia as a normal diplomatic rotation. Russian diplomats typically spend three years at an embassy before transfer, but the U.S. is such an important account that diplomats typically serve longer.
One of the Americans is Earl Rasmussen — a retired Army officer, West Point graduate and technology consultant in Washington. He is also vice president of the Eurasia Center, which works to create economic ties between the U.S. and European-Asian countries. He had a number of encounters with Mr. Kalugin.
Mr. Rasmussen told The Washington Times: “He was definitely not ‘withdrawn on short notice.’ It was a scheduled departure and one where several people that may have interfaced with him and his staff directly knew that he was leaving several months earlier and who his replacement was scheduled to be. Moreover, while many of us know people who work in the clandestine world, I had significant interaction with Mr. Kalugin, and never have I detected any type of covert actions or even an indication of preferences regarding the political campaign. My experience with him was that he was a very good professional in the economic area and sought to improve U.S.-Russia relations.”
The Times asked Mr. Rasmussen, who was interviewed last winter by McClatchy, to recall the chronology.
“Mikhail was actually on an extension of a typical assignment/tour,” he said in an email. “I knew he was due to leave summer of 2016 probably sometime summer or fall of 2015. I knew the actual month/time period of his rotation (July/August 2016) about 5 or so months out. The topic came up while we were in the planning stages of annual BRICS [a group of five emerging economies] conference held every spring that I am involved with organizing.”
The Washington Times also spoke with a senior former State Department official who had contact with Mr. Kalugin. The former official described Mr. Kalugin as a functioning diplomat who visited the State Department and accompanied the Russian ambassador during meetings dealing with global economics.
The former official recalled that when the ambassador needed a statistic to make a point, Mr. Kalugin was quick to provide it.
“I have more than a passing acquaintance with the Russian Embassy staff,” the former diplomat said. “I saw him at a lot of events. We had regular normal contact with him doing stuff that typically diplomats do. I can tell you he is quite knowledgeable about the economy.”
The former official said Mr. Kalugin’s resume showed a logical progression for a diplomat specializing in economics. He is now back at the Foreign Ministry in a policy shop.
“This is not a deep-cover guy,” the former official said. “I dealt with lots of Russians over the past 30 and 40 years, and I can tell you he preformed his duties professionally and competently. Maybe he’s the world’s most super-secret spy.”
Of the dossier, the former diplomat said, “There is stuff in there that just defies logic. Lots of it.”
The dossier generally was shunned by the mainstream media as it circulated through Washington’s corridors during the campaign. The reason: It could not be confirmed.
But elements of it did appear sporadically couched as being from intelligence sources.
Today, the Steele creation is cited by Democrats trying to get Congress to appoint a special commission and by some liberal news websites that contend it is true.
After reading aloud from the Steele paper at a March 20 hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Adam B. Schiff, California Democrat, said: “I believe that we would benefit from the work of an independent commission that can devote the staff resources to this investigation that we do not have. And it can be completely removed from any political considerations.”
Two other Democrats read parts of the dossier into the hearing record.