“To your request of my opinion of the manner in which a newspaper should be conducted so as to be most useful, I should answer, ‘by restraining it to true facts and sound principles only.’ Yet I fear such a paper would find few subscribers. It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more completely deprive the nation of its benefits, than is done by its abandoned prostitution to falsehood. Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. I will add that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.”
Thomas Jefferson — Letter to John Norvell (1807)
January 24 2017 — On this weekend’s broadcast of “Fox New Sunday,” veteran journalist Bob Woodward said the unverified dossier about President-elect Donald Trump and Russia is a “garbage document”. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
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UPDATE (January 24 2019) — It has been two years since the so-called Steele dossier, an explosive collection of memos alleging collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, was published by BuzzFeed News for public consumption.
The Steele dossier specifically claims that US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen and his three associates visited Prague in August 2016 to meet Kremlin officials to discuss how to make deniable cash payments to hackers in order to cover up Moscow’s secret liaison with the Trump team.
So, where do we stand on Russiagate today? As NPR Philip Ewing just wrote, Mueller’s investigation has so far found nothing that would tie Trump’s campaign in with Russia’s active measures in 2016.
There is still no smoking gun, and the Russia case also appears to have been weakening, not strengthening.
Greg Miller — a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning reporter from The Washington Post — said that The Washington Post had worked hard to investigate Steele’s allegations, with the newspaper’s reporters “literally spending weeks and months” in a bid to obtain more information on the matter.
“We sent reporters through every hotel in Prague, through all over the place, just to try to figure out if he [Cohen] was ever there, and came away empty”, Miller noted.
Sources at the FBI and the CIA told Miller that they don’t believe that the “Prague meeting” ever happened.
Last month, radio host John Ziegler interviewed Michael Isikoff, one of the biggest proponents of the Russia-gate story.
In April 2017, Isikoff and his co-writer, journalist David Corn published “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump.”
Ziegler began with what he apparently thought was a soft-ball question.
“Would you agree that a lot of what is in the Steele Dossier has been at least somewhat vindicated?”
“No,” said Isikoff flatly.
In their analysis of the Steele dossier published on January 10 2019, Business Insider journalists describe the dossier as a “largely unverified document.”
END of UPDATE
Russian President Vladimir Putin describes allegations his country holds compromising material on US President-elect Donald Trump as “utter nonsense”.
Mr Putin also said the ‘Trump Memos’ are clearly fakes, published to undermine the legitimacy of the elected president.
“When Trump came to Moscow, he was not a political figure, we were not even aware of his political ambitions,” Mr Putin said.
“Does somebody think that our secret services are chasing every American billionaire? Of course not. It is utter nonsense.”
“I find it hard to imagine he [Mr Trump] ran to a hotel to meet our girls of ‘low social responsibility’… though they are of course also the best in the world. But I doubt Trump took that bait.”
THE NYT: “Of Course!”
“At the same time that Mr. Trump continues to exhibit paranoia about American intelligence agencies, he displays a trust verging on gullibility in the mendacious and murderous government of Mr. Putin.
“Russia just said,” he tweeted, “unverified report paid for by political opponents is ‘A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE.’ Very unfair!”
Well, yes, of course Russia said that. But why should anyone believe what Mr. Putin says?” [NYT]
Legendary US journalist Bob Woodward comes to Trump’s defence
Woodward did not mince his words about the “Trump Dossier”.
“That is a garbage document. It never should have been presented in — as part of an intelligence briefing.”
“I think what is under reported here is Trump’s point of view on it. You laid it out when those former CIA people said these things about Trump, that he was a recruited agent of the Russians, and a useful fool, they started this in Trump’s mind, He knows the old adage, once a CIA man, always a CIA man.”
“No one came out and said those people shouldn’t be saying those things, So act two is the briefing when this dossier is put out.”
Woodward is entirely correct. Three former CIA Directors have, time and again, ridiculed Trump in the media during the political campaign.
Mike Morell called Trump a ‘unwitting (Russian) agent’. Michael Hayden refered to Trump as a ‘Useful idiot’ as well as a “clear and present danger” to America while Leon Panetta accused him of treason and incompetence.
Intel Today told you so!
The readers of this blog were well aware that these attacks — unacceptable in a democracy — would soon or later backfire. Let us go back over a few facts…
“As for the clincher about Trump being a Moscow run Manchurian candidate, I would suggest that Morell might have been a top analyst at the Agency but he never acquired or ran an actual spy in his life so his comments about The Donald having been recruited by Putin should be taken for what they are worth, which is precisely nothing.”
In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, just before the election, Hayden called Trump “Russia’s useful fool.” He says he came to that conclusion after analyzing what the Trump campaign had said and not said. The “polezni durak” or “useful idiot” was a concept from Soviet times, Hayden writes, some naïve soul who’s “manipulated by Moscow, secretly held in contempt, but whose blind support is happily accepted and exploited.”
“Today on The Lead with Jake Tapper, former NSA director Michael Hayden tells CNN’s Jake Tapper that Donald Trump is a “clear and present danger” to America”
RELATED POST: TRUMP & The CIA Briefings
“I have a lot of concerns of his qualities of leadership or lack thereof. That kind of statement only reflects the fact that he truly is not qualified to be president of the United States.”
RELATED POST: Ex CIA Boss: Trump is not qualified to be POTUS
And yet, the NYT suggests that…
“There is only one way to get to the bottom of this tawdry affair: Appoint a bipartisan, 9/11-style commission to investigate all of the allegations and issue a public report.
The former C.I.A. directors Leon E. Panetta and Michael V. Hayden, among other possible choices, would provide instant credibility if they were appointed to lead such a panel.”
Let us be polite. No comment!
Woodward: “You make mistakes, you apologize.”
“I’ve lived in this world for 45 years where you get things and people make allegations, that is a garbage document,” Woodward continued.
“It never should have been presented as part of an intelligence briefing.
As you suggested, other channels have the White House counsel give it to Trump’s incoming White House counsel. So Trump’s right to be upset about that.
I think if you look at the real chronology and the nature of the battle here, those intelligence chiefs who were the best we had, who are terrific and have done great work. I think they made a mistake here. And when people make mistakes, they should apologize.”
Bob Woodward: Russia Dossier on Trump a ‘Garbage Document’ –“Fox New Sunday” Interview
On Fox News Sunday, Bob Woodward calls the Russia dossier on Donald Trump a ‘garbage document’ and says the heads of the intelligence agencies who briefed on it should apologize.
Bob Woodward: Trump Dossier Is a ‘Garbage Document’ — “Intelligence Chiefs Should ‘Apologize’ to Trump”
One year Ago — Bob Woodward: “Trump Dossier Is a Garbage Document. Intelligence Chiefs Should Apologize to Trump”
Two years Ago — Bob Woodward: “Trump Dossier Is a Garbage Document. Intelligence Chiefs Should Apologize to Trump”