Last night, Buzzfeed published an unverified report laying out significant ties between President Elect Donald Trump and various members of the Russian government. Included in the report were allegations ranging from Trump participating in “perverted sexual acts” to his involvement in the hacking of the DNC’s e-mail servers, and how Russian officials have worked to develop a dossier on the incoming president intended to be used in blackmail efforts to advance Russian interests in the U.S. Government.
SOFREP’s editorial team got their hands on a copy of this report well before Buzzfeed made the questionable decision to publish it, but at the time felt the content warranted substantiation from outside sources before releasing it for wide distribution to the public. A decision mirrored by most reputable news agencies throughout the world that, by Buzzfeed’s own admission, have had access to the documents for some time.
The thirty-five page document, which goes into detail regarding meetings between members of Trump’s team and the Kremlin throughout his presidential campaign, also discusses the motivations and responses of Russian officials like Vladimir Putin as the Russian hacking scandal became worldwide news. In the hours since the document’s public release, both Trump and the Kremlin have publicly denied the authenticity of the content in the report.
According to the unsubstantiated report, the Russian government has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” Donald Trump for over five years, at times providing intelligence gathered on his political opponents, in particular, Hillary Clinton. It goes on to discuss compromising information gathered on Donald Trump, which is held in a dossier controlled by Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, for use in blackmailing the incoming president.
The document also indicates that Trump was offered a number of financially beneficial real estate development deals through Kremlin connections in hopes of establishing financial leverage over the American businessman, but that Trump declined all such offers.
Among the most salacious of accusations held within the report was a story about Trump hiring a number of Russian prostitutes to urinate on one another in front of him on a bed once slept in by American President Barack Obama and his wife at the Moscow Ritz Carlton hotel. That event, as well as other “unorthodox behavior” Trump is claimed to have participated in over the years, is suggested to have provided the Kremlin with “enough embarrassing material on the now Republican presidential candidate to be able to blackmail him if they so wished.”
Trump and Putin’s direct ties to the hacking of prominent DNC official’s e-mails, as well as other forms of intelligence gathering to benefit both Trump and the Kremlin’s interest in the United States and Russia are described within the report. It is indicated that Trump’s team even had moles in place within the DNC. The report goes on to say that WikiLeaks and other third-party sites were chosen for intelligence distribution to afford both Trump and the Kremlin “plausible deniability.” In return, Trump and his staff provided Putin with information regarding Russian oligarchs and their families living within the U.S. It is suggested that Trump and co. were also happy to allow Russia to appear as the “boogeyman” in the media, as part of an effort to cover up shady dealings elsewhere in the world, such as in China and “other emerging countries.”
Buzzfeed has taken a significant amount of heat since choosing the publish the document, as the information therein cannot be substantiated and is therefore little more than hearsay. The document was believed to be prepared by a former British intelligence officer that now works for a private intelligence firm, initially at the request of Trump’s opponents within the Republican party, then continued by funding sourced by Trump’s opposition in the DNC. CNN has reported that officials within the intelligence community and Trump himself were briefed on these documents so the President Elect would be “aware that such allegations involving him are circulating among intelligence agencies,” but received no indications that intelligence officials believed the content within the documents to be true.
In fact, even Buzzfeed seemed uncertain of the validity of the report, which they indicated in the article that accompanied the document. They go so far as to say, “It is not just unconfirmed: It includes some clear errors,” but chose to publish the story based on a misguided interpretation of journalistic integrity, suggesting that through their decision, Americans “can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.”
That statement itself is misleading, as it suggests that American intelligence officials may believe the allegations to be true, which there is currently no evidence to suggest is the case.
If the allegations within the report prove to be true, Donald Trump could see himself setting records for how long a president can hold office before impeachment proceeding commence. If evidence surfaces soon to support even parts of the thirty-five page document, it’s possible that the man may never even see a day in office before the ball to remove him begins rolling.
That said, if this report proves to be unreliable, many journalists, including those at Buzzfeed, will find themselves awfully red-faced when attempting to portray any semblance of journalistic integrity in the politics and affairs of the incoming President.
Image courtesy of Reuters