By Chuck Ross
CNN obsessively hyped President Trump’s Tuesday morning tweet about the infamous Steele dossier, portraying the Republican as being consumed by the salacious document.
But a review of Trump’s social media posts shows that he has mentioned the dossier only six times over the past year. He has referred to Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the steamy report, only once.
“Dossier is bogus. Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI TAINTED. And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
WOW, @foxandfrlends “Dossier is bogus. Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI TAINTED.” And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2017
The post was Trump’s first direct reference to the dossier in nearly two months. He last tweeted about the topic in October, shortly after it was revealed that the Clinton campaign and DNC had financed the anti-Trump opposition research project.
A review of Trump’s Twitter account shows that until October, his only other tweet mentioning the dossier was on Jan. 14, several days after BuzzFeed News published the report.
Trump has reportedly expressed frustration in private over Russia investigations being conducted by Congress and Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele, is a focus of those investigations.
But while Trump has railed on Twitter against the collusion investigations, he has been relatively restrained when it comes to the dossier.
Nevertheless, CNN portrayed Trump’s dossier tweet as evidence of a deep-seeded anxiety over Steele’s allegations.
“The president just can’t let this thing go about the fake dossier,” CNN fill-in host Bill Weir said early Tuesday morning, shortly after Trump published his tweet.
CNN anchor Don Lemon also asserted that Trump is tormented by the dossier.
“Then there’s that infamous Russia dossier that’s on the President’s mind as well. He talks about it so much. He’s called it garbage. Why is he bringing it up?” he said in one segment.
CNN congressional reporter Manu Raju also insisted that Trump is preoccupied with the dossier.
“With the president continuing to focus on the dossier, expect the GOP critics on Congress to continue to attack it as well,” he said.
“Do you think it’s to the President’s advantage, Selena, to keep talking about the dossier and everything surrounding it?” said Pamela Brown.
“President Trump is focused on this dossier as part of a broader effort to undermine the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible campaign ties to that effort,” asserted reporter Abby Phillip.
CNN also misreported some key facts about the dossier.
Evan Perez, the network’s justice correspondent, falsely claimed that the dossier was first funded by Republicans.
Perez was referring to the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website funded by Republican billionaire Paul Singer. The Free Beacon hired Fusion GPS in Sept. 2015 to conduct routine opposition research on Trump. But the site ended its Trump research in May 2016. Fusion was then hired by the law firm that represented the Clinton campaign and DNC. The oppo firm then hired Steele to conduct the investigation that led to the dossier.
CNN reporters also insisted Tuesday that some of the dossier has been corroborated, though they did not give specific examples.
“Parts of the dossier have been verified over time,” insisted Jim Sciutto. The reporter pointed to the network’s reporting in February that U.S. officials “had corroborated some of the communications detailed in [the dossier] — that meetings took place on days and in the places as described in there, and which according to multiple sources gave officials, quote, ‘greater confidence in the credibility of some aspects of the dossier.’”
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