MEDIA-WORSHIP OF CHRISTOPHER STEELE LIKE A BAD JOKE NOW
The rug has been pulled out from under those who insisted for years that Christopher Steele was some brilliant British super-sleuth who had the goods on Donald Trump. He turned out to be pretty sorry at intelligence-gathering, and even his fiction appears to have been gleaned from others more creative than he.
As Mollie Hemingway reminds us in THE FEDERALIST, Steele was supposed to have a “vast network of credible and well-connected sources spread throughout Europe,” but he really didn’t.
In the media, Steele was reverently described as “a former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence.” Whew, that sounds impressive. Before he was even identified, MOTHER JONES described him as maybe the foremost expert in Russia matters in the world! Ooh, big stuff. They said he “spent almost two decades on Russian intelligence matters and...now works with a U.S. firm that gathers information on corporate clients.” HA, that “U.S. firm” turned out to be Fusion GPS, the dirty oppo research company working for Hillary and the Democratic National Committee. Not quite so impressive now, is he?
As we’ve reported, Steele got all his information from his “primary sub-source,” identified as Igor “Iggy” Danchenko, who was a staffer at the leftist think-tank (make that “think”-tank) the Brookings Institute. Recall that the Brookings Institute was at that time headed by longtime Clinton ally Strobe Talbott. (Again, when it comes to lies and corruption, all roads lead back to Hillary.) Danchenko picked up nothing that was actually documented; instead, he depended on what Hemingway describes as “rumors, drunken gossip, and outright brainstorming, conjecture and speculation.”
Hearsay based on hearsay was conveyed to Steele, who, in his admitted desperation to keep Trump out of the White House, dramatically overstated it.
No one ever had any reason to believe any of this, other than that they just wanted to. They thought they could turn Trump’s image into that of some evil Manchurian candidate and keep him away from power. That’s why the media grabbed onto the outrageously fake story with both hands and wouldn’t let go. As Hemingway reminds us, Adam Goldman of THE NEW YORK TIMES actually won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting the false “Russia collusion” narrative. (I will add that he should humbly return it, as the award is as fake as the story.)
When the narrative turned out to be bunk, Goldman and his colleague Charlie Savage got together and turned on a dime to make their story more about the unmasking of Danchenko as Steele’s source. (Hemingway provides the link to this.) Clever, these media hacks. They gave no evidence that Danchenko had been promised anonymity, though he was promised immunity for speaking with the FBI. Late in their story, they do admit problems with the dossier --- what else can they do? --- while simultaneously glossing over them.
The Horowitz report, which came out last December, strongly criticized FBI investigators for mischaracterizing the Steele dossier and the results of the Danchenko interview to the FISA court, just to keep renewing their warrant to spy on Carter Page (and thus the Trump campaign, and thus Trump.)
As Hemingway reminds us, revisionists have tried to say that the “dossier” didn’t actually come out until after the election. But that timeline isn’t right; we know that it --- and other so-called “dossiers” designed to damage Trump --- were kicking around during the summer of 2016. Steele himself admitted in a British court (he was being sued by executives of Alfa bank) that he was meeting with media and law enforcement people about the “dossier” prior to the election, as he wanted it weaponized and used against Trump.
Steele even told a State Department official, Kathleen Kavalec, that it was his goal to get the story around before the election; she provided notes about that to the FBI investigators, so they knew good and well. And Michael Isikoff’s September 2016 story about Carter Page being a Russian asset was taken right from the “dossier.”
Other media outlets, mostly on the left but even THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, inflated Steele’s resume and mystique. They really should be embarrassed now; I wonder how many of them are. Read Mollie’s entire piece; it’s quite entertaining. In fact, some of it is a real laff riot, as when she quotes NYT reporter Scott Shane as saying in January of 2017, “If all the information in the dossier is false, it is a very sophisticated fabrication.” Hahahahaha. That sounds so ridiculous now.
Come on, it was a pile of stinking, unverifiable garbage that many of us could tell was fake from the start. You in the media were taken for a ride, and you’d buy the ticket again if it meant you could hurt President Trump.