Author and columnist Mark Steyn told Tucker Carlson on Fox News this week that the probes into President Donald Trump’s supposed collusion with Russian interests resemble but an outrageous “high-concept thriller” in which he is innocent. On Wednesday, Steyn and Carlson discussed the revelation that a dossier on Trump that may have influenced the FBI and the Department of Justice to investigate then-candidate Trump was created by the research firm Fusion GPS and the behest of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

“Everyone is colluding with Russia except Trump,” Steyn said. “You’ve got the Podesta Group, you’ve got the Hillary campaign, you’ve got the DNC, you’ve got the FBI, you’ve got Christopher Steele, who you credit as an ex-MI6 agent. He’s not just any old ex-MI6 agent, he’s the head of the Russia desk at MI6, which is a pretty big deal.”

The dossier was first published by BuzzFeed News in January. It was financed at first by an as yet anonymous Republican who, according to Trump, may be outed soon. “I have one name in mind,” Trump said  on Wednesday. “It will probably be revealed.”

When the story broke about the involvement of the DNC and the Clintons with the dossier, the Washington Post noted that the president's critics are now in an awkward political position.  Using the dossier, Democrats, liberals, and the Hillary Clinton campaign have assailed Trump and his political operation. What was revealed this week is that because virtually all of the sources used by Christopher Steele -- the former British intelligence officer who once headed the Russia desk for his agency -- were Russian, thus putting the Democrats in the position of having colluded if but indirectly with a Russian disinformation effort.

None of the central charges of collusion alleged by the dossier have been corroborated ever since the dossier came to notice in Washington in June 2016. Nor has there been any confirmation or leak from the intelligence committees in either chamber of Congress nor from special counsel Robert Mueller. Democrats were not hindered by the lack of verification when they read the sensational charges into the Congressional Record or repeated them on sympathetic news channels. On the basis of the dossier, members of Congress accused people of felonies even while knowing the document was unverified. Besides the disavowals by Trump advisers such as Paul Manafort and Carter Page, even the venerated journalist Bob Woodward said the dossier was "garbage." Three persons named in the dossier have filed libel lawsuits, and former CIA acting Director Michael Morell said the dossier’s contents came from Russian operatives who are paid to invent gossip. Page told The Washington Times that the dossier was but a "political stunt" intended to undermine Trump's campaign and damage the so-called "deplorables" who supported him. It was Hillary Clinton who dubbed Trump's supporters "deplorables."

Despite evidence to the contrary, some Democrats continue to use the dossier to bash Trump. For example, Clinton campaign press secretary Brian FAllon tweeted this week that he wishes that he had traveled to Europe and helped Steele collude with Russia to fabricate charges against Trump. “I regret I didn’t know about Christopher Steele’s hiring pre-election,” Fallon said Tuesday. “If I had, I would have volunteered to go to Europe and try to help him.”
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-CA) of the House intelligence committee continued to defend the dossier and Steele. Schiff told CNN this week: “So I think this is a bit of an effort to discredit Christopher Steele, discredit the dossier, ignore how much of it has been corroborated already, and ignore the fact that the intelligence community is operating from a broad array of sources as a way of basically calling this all a hoax. And it just doesn’t add up to me.” 

Schiff cited the dossier during a hearing that was televised in March that claimed that Carter Page met secretly with the CEO of the Russian natural gas company Rosneft, who happens to be a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Page denied the charge and wrote a letter condemning Schiff's remarks. 

In September 2016, Hillary Clinton's campaign used the dossier to base press statements claiming that Page supposed involvement with Rosneft was proof of collusion of the Trump campaign with Russia. It was then that both Steele and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson were giving briefings to reporters. Simpson has since refused to provide testimony to Congress, citing his Fifth Amendment rights protecting him from self-incrimination. 

Late in September 2016, various media outlets, including Yahoo, Huffington Post, ABC News, wrote stories in about Page's supposed crimes, basing themselves on the dossier. “Hillary for America Statement on Bombshell Report About Trump Aide’s Chilling Ties to Kremlin,” claimed a Sept. 23, 2016 press release from the Clinton Campaign. Page later told The Washington Times that he thinks the Clinton campaign were privy then to the dossier or its information. 
He said that just minutes after a Yahoo News report was released, the Clinton campaign put out an equally false press release. Page has charged that the Clinton campaign have been lying to the media about the dossier for a year, while planting articles and making statements on television.

With a filing in U.S. District Court on October 24 by the Perkins, Coie law firm, which has long been associated with Democrats, it is now known that the DNC and the Clinton campaign financed the dossier. It will now be up to Republicans to follow the facts and evidence, rather than the hearsay and fabrications that have been broadcast by Democrats since the middle of 2016.  



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.

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