News & Politics

Trump's Lies About Russia Dossier Debunked Once Again

Trump keeps trying to claim the Russia investigation would never have happened but for the Steele dossier. That's a lie.

Photo Credit: Voice of America

President Donald Trump has frequently tried to discredit the Russia investigation by complaining that it only started because of the dossier compiled by veteran MI6 spy Christopher Steele on behalf of Fusion GPS, which alleges Trump has extensive ties to Russia and, infamously, was entertained by Russian prostitutes.

Trump has claimed that the "fake dirty dossier" is disreputable because it was paid for, in part, by Democratic organizations determined to defeat him, and his allies in Congress have long sought to prove that the FBI lied to or misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court judges who issued warrants to surveil members of the Trump team about the source of the dossier.

The only problem: none of that is true. And on Tuesday, an ABC News report hammered another nail into the coffin of Trump's conspiracy theory.

According to ABC, "beginning in July 2016, that so-called 'dossier' actually sat for several weeks inside an organized crime unit at the FBI's New York field office, even as counterintelligence agents in Washington, D.C. — unaware of the new allegations — were already investigating Russian efforts to hijack American democracy."

This information is actually not new. Reports have long detailed the tangled path FBI agents took to begin the investigation into the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russia. One of the key catalysts for suspicion among U.S. intelligence agencies was not the Steele dossier, but former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos telling an Australian diplomat over drinks about foreign dirt on Clinton, after which the diplomat alerted U.S. authorities.

For the record, at least some elements of the dossier have already been proven true, rendering the entire controversy over how it was used moot.

Trump, however, will not be deterred from his quest to tar the investigators. This week, he ordered several classified documents and text messages related to the investigation to be released to the public, in a move that he claims is for "transparency," but which provoked howls of outrage from Democratic senators who consider it an attempt to undermine the probe.

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Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.