It is no secret that right-wingers often (well, all the time) like to twist facts to support their agenda, but when they do so with an easily “Googleable” (did we just make up a new word?) incident you have to ask yourself how stupid they think we are. Or, how stupid they think their fan base is. Actually, if they believe what they are saying, well — what does that say?
Twitter pundit and self-described “media critic” Brian Cates came up with a timeline regarding the funding and publishing of the so-called Steele Dossier (yes, the one with the peepee tape), and it’s just so horribly wrong and misleading that we have to debunk it:
Step 1) Clinton campaign pays for Trump dossier based on info from Russian gov’t sources.
Actually, the opposition research that eventually ended up being the infamous dossier was begun by Fusion GPS at the request of a “never Trump” Republican, and the tab was picked up by “Democratic donors” when that Republican backed out, after Trump secured the party nomination. This is all according to Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS.
Step 2) Dossier is shopped in DC by Fusion GPS.
This is actually true. According to the article in Vanity Fair, Simpson “smelled fresh red meat” and didn’t want all his efforts to be in vain, so he went and found another donor in order to finish the research. The Republican who wanted the truth about Trump, unless he was the party’s nominee, was replaced by those who wanted the truth to protect the country from him.
Step 3) Trump dossier is published by Buzzfeed, taking it public.
This timeline set up is worth six Pinocchios and eight pants-on-fire because it’s a blatant lie. It only took a few seconds typing “when did Buzzfeed publish the dossier” in a Google search to prove that the dossier was published on January 10th, 2017, a whopping two months after the election. The FISA warrants it supported we’ll get to next.
Step 4) FBI uses Trump dossier to apply for FISA warrants.
Once again, a lie. The FBI obtained FISA warrants during the 2016 elections, long before the dossier was published. So, it did not happen because it was made public; it was because John McCain gave it to the FBI so they could defend this country from the possible blackmail opportunities it offered.
Step 5) FISA warrants are granted based on disinformation from Russian sources.
On the contrary, evidence points to the fact that intelligence intercepted communications between persons connected to the Trump campaign and Russian nationals, prompting the applications for FISA warrants. And again, all this happened during the election. The Steele Dossier was not public until after.
Regardless of whether or not the Republican-initiated and Democratic donor-realized dossier supported warrants, the fact is that there were others. Warrants were issued due to 702 wiretapping on foreign agents. Because Trump affiliates were in communication with foreign agents under surveillance: remember “unmasking?”
Step 6) Trump campaign chairman/others are wiretapped.
Well, if they hadn’t been in communication with the Russians, they probably wouldn’t have been wiretapped. The dossier didn’t cause this; that would be the intercepted communications between Trump affiliates and Russians.
Step 7) Trump wins election. FBI offers to pay Steele to continue gathering intelligence on Trump.
Again, the timeline is wrong. The FBI offer/deal to pay Christopher Steele was reportedly made in October 2016, before the election on November 8th. Besides, it really isn’t a scoop; Vice reported on this in May.
Step 8) Steele outed. FBI backs out.
According to Vice, it was Steele who backed out, and he did so in late October 2016.
Step 9) 10 months of DNC Media/Dems frantically trying to find evidence of the Trump campaign colluding with Russians to influence the election.
Three words: Donald Trump, Jr.
Step 10) Media finally gets around to admitting steps 1-8, everybody realizes they’ve been wasting their time.
It’s mostly right wing sites that push this narrative, and we’re willing to bet that Bob Mueller hasn’t been wasting his time. You don’t get that many high-level legal people to leave a lucrative career to participate in an investigation you think is going nowhere.
Conclusion: It’s very easy and quick to use Google to debunk these lies/misleadings, but – sadly – we know that Mr. Cates isn’t speaking to us but to Trump’s base who will lick up anything seeming to exonerate their “savior.” We can only hope that some will actually remember that Buzzfeed published the Steele dossier in January, and then maybe, just maybe, look up a few things themselves.
But who are we kidding, right?
Featured image by ANX