15 Months and 15,000 Words Later, Boosters Still Obscure the Timeline on the Steele Dossier

Jane Mayer is a great journalist. But in a 15,000 word profile on Christopher Steele and his dossier, she adds just two new bits of news, and along the way muddles the timeline as badly as all the Steele boosters who have gone before her.

The Singer feint

Mayer emphasizes something that Democrats have: that the Fusion project on Trump was initiated by right wing billionaire Paul Singer, not the Democrats.

[I]n the spring of 2016, Steele got a call from Glenn Simpson, a former investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal who, in 2011, had left journalism to co-found Fusion GPS. Simpson was hoping that Steele could help Fusion follow some difficult leads on Trump’s ties to Russia. Simpson said that he was working for a law firm, but didn’t name the ultimate client.

The funding for the project originally came from an organization financed by the New York investor Paul Singer, a Republican who disliked Trump. But, after it became clear that Trump would win the Republican nomination, Singer dropped out. At that point, Fusion persuaded Marc Elias, the general counsel for the Clinton campaign, to subsidize the unfinished research. This bipartisan funding history belies the argument that the research was corrupted by its sponsorship. [my emphasis]

This is misleading, of course, as is Mayer’s use of the term “spring.” That’s because, as least according to the public record, Steele wasn’t brought on to the project until after Democrats started funding the dossier. Yes, Singer started funding the oppo research on Trump, but not the paid HUMINT that got leaked in early 2017.

The continued silence about Guccifer 2.0

One reason all this matters is because of the way Mayer ignores the same thing every other Steele booster did: the release of Democratic documents by Guccifer 2.0 on June 15. Mayer, like all the other boosters, jumps immediately from the (erroneous) WaPo reporting on the DNC hack to the WikiLeaks release.

On June 14, 2016, five days after the Trump Tower meeting, the Washington Post broke the news that the Russians were believed to have hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s e-mail system. The first reports were remarkably blasé. D.N.C. officials admitted that they had learned about the hack months earlier. (It later surfaced that in November of 2014 Dutch intelligence officials had provided U.S. authorities with evidence that the Russians had broken into the Democratic Party’s computer system. U.S. officials reportedly thanked the Dutch for the tip, sending cake and flowers, but took little action.) When the infiltration of the D.N.C. finally became public, various officials were quoted as saying that the Russians were always trying to penetrate U.S. government systems, and were likely just trying to understand American politics better.

The attitudes of Democratic officials changed drastically when, three days before the start of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, WikiLeaks dumped twenty thousand stolen D.N.C. e-mails onto the Internet. The e-mails had been weaponized: what had seemed a passive form of spying was now “an active measure,” in the parlance of espionage.

As I’ve noted, repeatedly, the first Steele report, dated June 20 and so completed on the same day Guccifer 2.0 promised to release a “dossier” of his own on Clinton, describes the dirt Russians were peddling as old FSB intercepts, not recent hacked emails. The Steele report remained way behind public contemporaneous reporting on the hack-and-leak, and by jumping right to Wikileaks, boosters avoid dealing with several more reports that conflicted with known public facts.

So Guccifer 2.0 not only proves Steele’s sources were at best misinformed about the operation against Clinton and possibly even peddling disinformation, but — particularly given Simpson’s assertion that the Democrats were using the dossier to “understand what the heck was going on” it might have led Democrats to be complacent as they considered how to respond to the DNC hack.

The continued silence about precisely when Simpson hired Steele

The timing about when in “spring” Simpson hired Steele matters for one more reason. As I laid out here, Perkins Coie’s hiring of Simpson closely coincides with the time Perkins Coie and their clients, the Democrats, met with the FBI on the hack and asked for, but did not get, a public announcement about Russia being the culprit. But we don’t know which came first and what relationship there was between them (though Simpson seems to suggest there was one).

Given how many pieces relying on Simpson and the Democrats as sources we’ve seen, the continued inability to nail down which came first, the FBI refusal to attribute the hack or the hiring of Steele, is notable.

When a misleading “spring” turns into a misleading “late summer”

Perhaps the most remarkable move in this piece comes with Mayer’s claim (after admitting that she was among the reporters who got briefed by Steele in “late summer”) that no news outlet reported based off Steele’s allegations.

In late summer, Fusion set up a series of meetings, at the Tabard Inn, in Washington, between Steele and a handful of national-security reporters. These encounters were surely sanctioned in some way by Fusion’s client, the Clinton campaign. The sessions were off the record, but because Steele has since disclosed having participated in them I can confirm that I attended one of them. Despite Steele’s generally cool manner, he seemed distraught about the Russians’ role in the election. He did not distribute his dossier, provided no documentary evidence, and was so careful about guarding his sources that there was virtually no way to follow up. At the time, neither The New Yorker nor any other news organization ran a story about the allegations.

Unless she is playing word games here (perhaps meaning “allegations” to refer exclusively to the pee tape), it’s mindboggling she made this claim. A key part of the debate over the Nunes memo in the last month (she makes reference to the Schiff memo, so she has to be aware of this) is about what Michael Isikoff’s September 23 article — which itself relied on Steele’s reporting — is doing in the FBI’s application for a FISA order on Carter Page. Isikoff first admitted his reporting relied on Steele days after the dossier was leaked. In the wake of the Nunes memo release, Isikoff admitted that in even more detail.

Mayer’s quasi bombshell

Which brings us to one of the two new pieces of news. Mayer reports on an additional report Steele did in late November that reports a MFA claim that Russia vetoed Mitt Romney as Secretary of State.

One subject that Steele is believed to have discussed with Mueller’s investigators is a memo that he wrote in late November, 2016, after his contract with Fusion had ended. This memo, which did not surface publicly with the others, is shorter than the rest, and is based on one source, described as “a senior Russian official.” The official said that he was merely relaying talk circulating in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but what he’d heard was astonishing: people were saying that the Kremlin had intervened to block Trump’s initial choice for Secretary of State, Mitt Romney. (During Romney’s run for the White House in 2012, he was notably hawkish on Russia, calling it the single greatest threat to the U.S.) The memo said that the Kremlin, through unspecified channels, had asked Trump to appoint someone who would be prepared to lift Ukraine-related sanctions, and who would coöperate on security issues of interest to Russia, such as the conflict in Syria. If what the source heard was true, then a foreign power was exercising pivotal influence over U.S. foreign policy—and an incoming President.

Mayer goes on to raise reasons to doubt the credibility of this report — not least, that Trump never liked Romney (and especially had it in for Mormons in the wake of the election, when Mormons were among the most vocal opponents to Trump) — but she presents them as details that might corroborate the report.

As fantastical as the memo sounds, subsequent events could be said to support it. In a humiliating public spectacle, Trump dangled the post before Romney until early December, then rejected him. There are plenty of domestic political reasons that Trump may have turned against Romney. Trump loyalists, for instance, noted Romney’s public opposition to Trump during the campaign. Roger Stone, the longtime Trump aide, has suggested that Trump was vengefully tormenting Romney, and had never seriously considered him. (Romney declined to comment. The White House said that he was never a first choice for the role and declined to comment about any communications that the Trump team may have had with Russia on the subject.) In any case, on December 13, 2016, Trump gave Rex Tillerson, the C.E.O. of ExxonMobil, the job. The choice was a surprise to most, and a happy one in Moscow, because Tillerson’s business ties with the Kremlin were long-standing and warm. (In 2011, he brokered a historic partnership between ExxonMobil and Rosneft.) After the election, Congress imposed additional sanctions on Russia, in retaliation for its interference, but Trump and Tillerson have resisted enacting them.

I’m curious, however, by a bigger question, which first leads me to the other consistent timing issue in Steele booster narratives.

The continued virgin birth of the December 13 report

Mayer tells the standard narrative of how Steele had Sir Andrew Wood brief John McCain on the dossier, which led to David Kramer obtaining it.

The week before Thanksgiving, Wood briefed McCain at the Halifax International Security Forum. McCain was deeply concerned. He asked a former aide, David Kramer, to go to England to meet Steele. Kramer, a Russia expert who had served at the State Department, went over the dossier with Steele for hours. After Kramer promised to share the document only with McCain, Steele arranged for Kramer to receive a copy in Washington. But a former national-security official who spoke with Kramer at the time told me that one of Kramer’s ideas was to have McCain confront Trump with the evidence, in the hope that Trump would resign. “He would tell Trump, ‘The Russians have got you,’ ” the former official told me. (A lawyer for Kramer maintains that Kramer never considered getting Trump to resign and never promised to show the dossier only to McCain.) Ultimately, though, McCain and Kramer agreed that McCain should take the dossier to the head of the F.B.I. On December 9th, McCain handed Comey a copy of the dossier. The meeting lasted less than ten minutes, because, to McCain’s surprise, the F.B.I. had possessed a copy since the summer. According to the former national-security official, when Kramer learned about the meeting his reaction was “Shit, if they’ve had it all this time, why didn’t they do something?” Kramer then heard that the dossier was an open secret among journalists, too. He asked, “Is there anyone in Washington who doesn’t know about this?” [my emphasis]

After including the denial that Kramer promised exclusivity to McCain (bolded above), Mayer lays out what has become the presumptive story on how BuzzFeed got the dossier, from Kramer.

By a process of elimination, speculation has centered on McCain’s aide, Kramer, who has not responded to inquiries about it, and whose congressional testimony is sealed.

Except all that would support Kramer leaking a dossier in its December 9 form, not a dosser in its December 13 form, which is what we got.

The question is all the more pressing, because we now know that there’s another version of the dossier, one that might include the late November report but not (yet) the December 13 report, which may be how the FBI obtained it.

The other scoop: a different murder?

So there are two scoops: the report that Russian chatter took credit for Trump humiliating Mitt Romney, which might be true (in spite of all the reasons to believe it’s not), or might instead be more disinformation, in this case disinformation that served Russian bureaucrats’ self-interest in looking good for Putin.

The other scoop is that, while Mayer notes there is no evidence that Oleg Erovinkin was a Steele source, there may be another death that Mueller is investigating in relation to the dossier.

No evidence has emerged that Erovinkin was a Steele source, and in fact Special Counsel Mueller is believed to be investigating a different death that is possibly related to the dossier.

None of the two known potentially suspicious American deaths, that of Seth Rich or Peter Smith, would seem to match the dossier timeline. There are, however, a few other Russians that might be potentially related deaths.

I’d love to see a 15,000 word piece that finally answers some of these questions about the dossier. But for now we’ve just got my neverending pieces asking the questions.

40 replies
  1. Charles says:

    I wonder if the defense being mounted by Democrats has to do with the following line in Mayer’s article:


    “They’re trying to take down the whole intelligence community!” Steele exclaimed one day to friends. “And they’re using me as the battering ram to do it.”

    It’s possible they (Dems/Mueller/IC) need to keep the Steele dossier alive long enough to allow Mueller to do his job. Once indictments related to cooperation between Trump and the Russians come out, the Republicans will have no further interest in Steele. But until then, the investigation remains vulnerable. And, if the suspicion that the Russians have some people inside the American government (e.g., Nunes) who they have leverage over is accurate, well… the goal of taking down American intelligence is a major Russian aspiration, and they’re closer to achieving it than any of us would wish. Morale has to be rock bottom at the FBI.


    So, I think there’s utility in defending Steele. Maybe muddling the timeline is a bad way to do it, but desperation is the mother of all sorts of inventions.  If the Russians succeed at what we suspect may be their goals, there might not be an afterwards. Putin and his coterie–not to mention Trump– increasingly seem  reckless and nihilistic to me.

      • Charles says:

        Is it really so out there to say that people might be concerned about damage to the intelligence agencies, and that they might have imposed on themselves some mental blinders that lead excellent journalists and decent congressmen to screw up dates to make them match a particular view that happens to be convenient for opposing the attacks on the intelligence agencies?

        Surely you have something better to do than annoy people, bmaz. Not every commenter on your site is a troll.

      • orionATL says:

        you were on twitter a lot in spring and summer 2016, opining loudly about democratic politics, bmaz.

        people should go back and take a look your impressively scatalogical ouevre from those days.

        as rules of monitoring go, i’m not sure squashing unusual points of view is desireable.

  2. pseudonymous in nc says:

    Mayer is generally specific about dates (at least to the month) in her piece, so when she’s vague, especially for events where she was in attendance, it feels like it’s shimming the narrative. Anyway, Julia Ioffe was also getting calls from Steele about Page’s meetings in Moscow, and her piece also showed up on September 23, almost as if there were an embargo.

    The hanging question here is whether the tendency to exclude Guccifer 2.0 from the “Russian timeline” and go straight to the WikiLeaks DNC stuff is because it diverts from an overtrodden narrative driven by the bloody dossier, or that G 2.0 and DCLeaks represent a distinct branch of active measures. The latter gets dragged off into tinfoil territory by the usual suspects, but the outreach and dissemination methods were very different from the WikiLeaks drip-feed, and that’s been under-explained perhaps because of so much attention on the pee tape at the end of the rainbow.

    • Danno says:

      Why is it that American journalists persist in using seasons as dates for historical incidences fir which they can be certain of the month and often of the day, give or take 24 hours?

      It’s not just a little confusing to those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, it is also maddeningly imprecise.

      • emptywheel says:

        I never thought of that. Thanks for pointing it out.

        As I’ve said, I think the use of seasons by boosters serves to obscure that some events (the hiring of Steele sometime in June before the 20th and the completion of the final report on December 13) happened in months other than the casual reader would assume they did.

      • Crane says:

        I hope it’s not out of bounds to say how amusing this comment is in a gallows way.  Beyond any linguistic or cultural impediments to understanding the most convoluted, hydra-headed political scandal ever told, and notwithstanding the dezinformatiya that is part and parcel of that scandal, you poor souls down under (or up over, hell, who’s to say) have to translate all the seasons on your brackets.

        In this brave new clustershag, no one’s buying the world a Coke.

    • harpie says:

      “There are, however, a few other Russians that might be potentially related deaths.”

      Probably something like: “There are, however, the deaths of a few other Russians that might be related to this.”

  3. bmaz says:

    The “Steele Dossier” is still the most overhyped, overwrought, piece of irrelevant red herring ever. It was raw political intelligence.

    Treating it like it is the Holy Grail in Monty Python is absolutely ridiculous unless Sean Hannity and Devin Nunes are afoot.

    • Dave says:

      Don’t even mention that Mueller sat on his hands during the lie that led us into the Iraq war.  This whole thing is nothing but a distraction from the wars for profit that both fake parties are waging in the middle east and Africa as well as the fraud and theft the banking cartel continue to wage upon the citizenry with complete impunity.



      You really have to be caught up in an information bias bubble to think ANYTHING will come out of this control drama that the covert community is perpetrating.

      • bmaz says:

        Oh Dave. How swell of you to parachute in to our blog today with not one,but three, trollish comments.

        Where have you been all this time “Dave”?

        And take your condescending Consortium “bubble” and shove it.

    • orionATL says:

      “… The “Steele Dossier” is still the most overhyped, overwrought, piece of irrelevant red herring ever. It was raw political intelligence….”

      i could not agree with you more, bmaz.

      so i keep asking myself “why does emptywheel keep tracking it like a wolf after an old sheep?”

      and why always with this never directly articulated air of misconduct or folly on the part of some members of the clinton-affiliated democratic party?

      the matter seems simple enough. the clinton campaign wanted opposition research (discrediting or scandalous info) on candidate trump. campaign tasks law firm, which tasks fusion-gps, which tasks british intelligence russian expert steele.

      steele is allegedly blind to his ultimate patron. he does his research. efforts are made by fusion-gps, by steele, by democratic campaign operatives to get out damaging info to journalists about trump being a russian-favored candidate.

      some dem operatives, fusion-gps, and/or steele make all possible useful media contacts. these same deny involvement, lying as necessary.

      this all seems like run-of-the-mill american political “fun” the way the game is played here.

      so, as you imply, bmaz, the original media activity seems an effort to make a big story out of snippets of gossip from behind the now ragged and torn iron curtain.

      what could be of interest here – other than a nefarious deep-state operation :)

      • orionATL says:

        orion@4:02 –

        “some dem operatives, fusion-gps, and/or steele make all possible useful media contacts. these same deny involvement, lying as necessary.”

        i should add, not only useful media contacts, but useful contacts within government, e. g., doj/fbi.

  4. TheraP says:

    EW’s ”never ending pieces asking the questions.”

    ”Problem Finding” is a skill that not every one has.  And EW has this skill in spades!  It seems to be one of her singular traits, combining dogged, careful reading with a sense of “what’s missing?” Or “why is that?” Or “how come?”

    People who ponder and wonder and gnaw at questions are so totally different than the gullible folks who swallow propaganda and never question it.

    Let us just pause a moment and give thanks for the former.  And wonder what underlies the latter.  Or how to “fix” those folks.  (Wish I knew how…)

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    This is from Ms. Mayer’s New Yorker article:

    Peter Fritsch, a co-founder at Fusion who has worked closely with Steele, said of him, “He’s a career public-service officer, and in England civil servants haven’t been drawn into politics in quite the same way they have here. He’s a little naïve about the public square.”

    I can’t decide who is more credulous: Mr. Fritsch or Ms. Mayer, whose work I normally admire.  One needn’t be a fan of Yes, Minister or John le Carre to detect a hint of disingenuousness in Mr. Fritsch’s comment.  The first part may well be accurate for ordinary civil servants.  It would seem less so with respect to the top echelon in Whitehall.  The second part seems especially doubtful and makes one wonder about the balance of Ms. Mayer’s work.

    Naivety would not likely survive in an operative who worked for twenty years at MI6 and who rose to become head of its Russia desk and an expert on the politics of the Kremlin.  Survival and promotion to that rank would have meant becoming an expert on the English bureaucracy and its political masters, as well as their Russian counterparts. That Steele had been a former president of the Cambridge Union makes Fritsch’s characterization ludicrous.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That Steele ran the high-stakes inquiry into the Litvinenko assassination puts another nail in the coffin of the idea that Steele is naive about how bureaucracies or their governments work.

      It is as laughable as Devin Nunes sending the inexperienced Kash Patel to London, unannounced and outside of protocol, to blindside Steele in hopes that he would make an admission or give up a good sound bite.  Steele has the appearance of being what Carter Page and George Papadopolous could only dream of being.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      The American equivalent of the British tier of career *CMGs is Senate-confirmed political appointees, and even then, Steele was operating below that tier.

      For example, Steele served in Moscow at the same time as John Scarlett, and left a year before Scarlett’s tit-for-tat expulsion; it was Scarlett who became head of SIS a decade later — the top echelon — and called in Steele to lead the investigation of Litvinenko’s polonium tea. I’d assume that Steele didn’t want the managerial / bureaucratic responsibilities that many of his contemporaries eventually took.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Could be a lot of things; there’s only room for one head of SIS at a time.

        Steele spent decades being the hard careful watcher who seemed too bland for anyone to take notice of what he was watching.  It is common for a top operator to let his department head do the more obvious maneuvering, clubbing and committee work, while he slipstreams behind.  An elegant division of labor. That he was considered a safe and competent enough pair of hands to lead the radioactive Litvinenko inquiry speaks volumes.

  6. Rapier says:

    The dossier is an endlessly reanimated monster like Frankenstein.  I suppose since the monster is up an about we have to study how the damn thing works but we don’t have to like it.

  7. Avattoir says:

    One familiar feeling I detected on reading thru the Mayer piece was how short-lived can be / almost invariably is the value of any ‘insider’ familiarity with government systems.

    There’s a necessary gap from when one leaves government prosecution to when it’s ethical to take on clients defending against such prosecution, particularly in areas that get anywhere remotely close to national security interests
    (And vice versa: I’ve never been able to square to my own comfort the work Holder took on for Chiquita, either in 2003 when he worked for Chiquita in entering into one of those Ashcroft/Christie long-term buy-out-type ‘overseen’ work-outs in response to the prospect of his client & some of its key officers being prosecuted by DoJ for systemic ransom-type bribes {both in cash and cached weaponry} to a USG-listed “terrorist org” {the United Self Defense Forces of Columbia} during a period at least half of which extended into second Bill Clinton term, being also THE time during which Holder was most particularly rapidly ascending in Main Justice, or in 2008 from when it became apparent Obama would nominate him for A.G.)

    So there was this one time where having waited over some years after leaving government I took on a client named in a multi-defendant indictment alleging on its face a conspiracy extending back to no earlier than several years after I left government work Once actually in the case, the gap got, for a while quite scarily for me, considerably narrowed; lesson learned there. At the same time, as details emerged on how the investigation proceeded, as well as on its underlying legal, regulatory and policy bases, increasingly I found my supposedly ‘fresh’ familiarity with investigative and prosecution premises and procedures under constant strain from drift. There were aspects in which there seemed almost no time for significant drift, yet there was!

    By 2016, Steele had been gone out of Moscow for a decade, and gone from MI6 at least 6 years. IMO it shouldn’t surprise us that the combined work of UK intel HUMINT and US SIGINT over the intervening periods would outstrip his capacity to catch up in a matter of months. AOT, his ‘dossier’ style approach, something far more associated with the 1990s than even the 2000 aughts, would appear out-dated, stale, creaky, unbalanced towards the HUMINT side, perhaps even hackneyed and certainly of dubious if not suspect value, to those directly involved in the intervening period of 6 years to a decade in US intel touching on Russia.

    OTOH, it seems to me McCain might well find it darn compelling.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The dossier has become a MacGuffin.  It counts less than the uses and abuses to which it is put.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      “The dossier” has become a shorthand for “pee tapes and secret meetings” and that takes away attention from things noted in the earlier memos that get less attention:

      1. focus on Russia deflecting from bribe/kickbacks in China and other emerging markets (hi Panama!);
      2. various things from US-based Russian/FSU associates, Source D and especially Source E, who talked about the emigré pension system as cover for payments;
      3. the Agalarovs as key liaisons in Russia (which could be deduced from pageant stuff, but since Nunberg is talking about sending women to hotel rooms today…)

      • orionATL says:


        aras agalarov would certainly be the person i would choose to hold responsible for setting up and shepharding the june 9, 2016 meeting in trump tower. his fingerprints are all over that meeting.

        the elder agalarov was described by star attendant veselnitskya as her “very good friend”. irakly (ike) kaveladze, a naturalized american and a v-p of aras’ crocus corporation who lived and worked in california, flew in for the meeting. rob goldstone, a publicist for aras’ son, emin, arranged the meeting thru email exchanges with don trump, jr.

        agalarov himself had association directly with putin and had been rewarded by putin for his personal assistance (to the tune of 100 mill) to the state. agalarov seems just the kind of russian, not connected directly to the russian government but connected thru busness deals, that the russian gov likes to use for intelligence operations.

        and then, of course, there was agalarov’s seminal adventures with trump in regard to the miss universe contest in moscow in 2013.

  9. SpaceLifeform says:

    One thing that caught my eye.

    Why did GCHQ go to CIA instead of FBI regarding comms between Trump team and Moscow?

    Did NSA confirm?

  10. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Critically ill man is former Russian spy

    Sergei Skripal


    He was convicted of passing the identities of Russian intelligence agents working undercover in Europe to the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6.

    Russia said Col Skripal had been paid $100,000 for the information, which he had been supplying from the 1990s.

    He was one of four prisoners released by Moscow in exchange for 10 US spies in 2010, as part of a swap. Col Skripal was later flown to the UK.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Perhaps he should have skipped the tea for two. The odds that he and his partner were undone by a piece of underdone potato seem poor.

      I suppose the Met has already checked for 210Po.  But the options are so many.

    • Lamsmy says:

      I was wondering if someone was going to bring up Skripal.

      This guy has presumably been out of the loop since his exposure and arrest in 2006 in Moscow. Who and why would anyone want him dead 12 years later?

      I really don’t have an answer for this, but I do know that if I was Paul Manafort or little Anastasia sitting in a Thai jail, I might be encouraged to think long and hard about what I say over the next few years.

      • Trip says:

        He might still have a network of contacts. Even if not, I guess there is a level of patience for revenge.

        I hope someone gives Anastasia Vashukevich political asylum. She is too easy of a target to ‘disappear’.



    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      The MPs Who Oversee The Police And MI5 Are Demanding A Review Of Suspicious Deaths In The UK Linked To Russia


      The chair of the Home Affairs select committee highlighted 14 deaths revealed in a BuzzFeed News investigation last year and comes after a former Russian spy and his daughter fell ill in Salisbury in mysterious circumstances.

      Cooper, who chairs the cross-party committee that scrutinises the policy of police and MI5, wants the home secretary to order the National Crime Agency to look into the deaths “that have not been treated as suspicious by the UK police but have – reportedly – been identified by United States intelligence sources as potentially connected to the Russian state”.

      [14 deaths, *NOT* treated as suspicious]

      • bmaz says:

        The Buzzed Poison In The System piece was excellent work when published, and is even more important now.

  11. Mark says:

    “…the report that Russian chatter took credit for Trump humiliating Mitt Romney, which might be true (in spite of all the reasons to believe it’s not), or might instead be more disinformation, in this case disinformation that served Russian bureaucrats’ self-interest in looking good for Putin.”
    Why does it matter if the russians did interfere with the nomination of Romney, or if they are just taking the credit for it?

    The fact is any administration that is so compromised by russia that such a thing could even be remotely plausible is one that the USA cannot afford to have operating the levers of our intel and military organs. No chatter should or could be possible in a CLEAN administration, and the doubt this gives rise to is excuse enough to see the White House cleaned out, the stakes are simply too high to permit even a possibility that this could be true. Especially in light of all the evasions, perjuries, obstructions, how much proof will it take to get this nightmare to end? Or, is it just never going to end no matter what comes out? Will it simply be too late? I keep thinking of the VERY CONVENIENTLY timed press release of his new generation of super weapons that could not have been a less subtle threat directed at Trumpski had he actually labeled Mar a Lago on that image of Florida about to get nuked.

  12. Beau Considine says:

    In a post blog last spring, I made a list of all the suspicious deaths of Russian operatives between November 5, 2015, and February 20, 2017. At the time I was curious to know if the death of Sergei Krivov was somehow related to the Trump Russia conspiracy. I never go any feedback on that. Now I wonder if people reading this blog might help me either confirm or eliminate the late Mr. Krivov from my list of people who might have been dusted as a result of their cooperation with Mr. Steele.

  13. greengiant says:

    We have pseudonymous Adam Carter of all people to thank for the Late July Early August timeline for the GUCCIFER 2.0 sea of ratfucker genitalia Stranahan from breitbart/RT, Stone, Fairbanks from Sputnik. Not to believe that timeline except to note it is a timeline someone wanted to present. Still betting on GOP operative involvement here. Overseas losers can pay my share of increased US deficit due to the GOP tax cut.

  14. Michael Keenan says:

    Ray McGovern may have missed your take on Steele dossier and or not read this post?
    Mayer and Uygur have now joined with other Trump-despisers and new “progressive” fans of the FBI and CIA – among them Amy Goodman and her go-to, lost-in-the-trees journalist, Marcy Wheeler of Emptywheel.net. 
    I do not think you support FISA abuse but that does not extend to becoming a burning intelligence supporter either. Can you layout the what differs between Ray and you?

  15. JacobLadder says:

    Mayer didn’t just “mislead” about the dossier’s supposed “bipartisan funding history” — she outright lied. Not a single cent of Republican money ever went to Steele for his work. It’s amazing how many Democrats are still running with this myth.

    This obvious attempt to boost Steele and the dossier to hurt Trump majorly backfires. First, Mayer contradicts the FBI’s claim on the FISA warrant (and Schiff’s claim in his memo) that Steele never knew the Democrats were financing his work. She also makes a liar out of Hillary Clinton who laughably claimed on the Daily Show that she never even knew about the dossier until Buzzfeed told everyone about it. Even more hilariously, Mayer’s “evidence” for her claim that the Russians were behind Trump’s rejection of Romney consisted of the fact Trump strung out the interview process to humiliate him (huh?).

    Fact is, this dossier has been a circus from the start — as the mainstream media try so hard to legitimize both it and Steele.


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