I’m Proud We Published the Trump-Russia Dossier

The president called the Steele report “fake news.” A year later, it’s clear that’s not the case.

Comments: 229

  1. Following his past practices, and if this really is fake, then Trump should sue. Even a public figure can be defamed, and this would cross all the lines even for a public figure. So how about it? Where's the lawsuit?

  2. I see now that they just did, today, though I had not known that. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/michael-cohen-trumps-personal-attorney-fi... This should be interesting. Civil court is where Bill Clinton got into trouble for perjury.

  3. Bill Clinton was the defendant in that case. He tried his darndest to stay out of court and eventually settled. He got into trouble (which led to him being civilly sanctioned by the court for contempt NOT perjury (not all lying under oath is perjury. It has to be about a matter material to the litigation) for his answer to a question during a deposition.

  4. Your concern trolling aside, I suspect that Trump is trying to find out who, according to of 175 of Simpson’s interview, among his team went to the FBI with concerns about the Russians. The number of people that person could have been is less that 10. My money is on Jared Kushner, Ivanka, or Bannon.

  5. If Republicans running against Donald J. Trump had stuck with the Fusion GPS former Wall Street Journal reporters and had paid for the Steele dossier and used it against opponent Trump, would they be complaining about Steele's expertise today? If it comes to pass that most, perhaps all, of the dossier's material turns out to be factual, how will Steele's intrepid efforts be denounced then? If, as President Trump and others claim, the dossier and the Mueller investigation are truly without merit, why the Grand Old Party ado? If there's nothing there, why spend more time and money on nothing? Why the reluctance to make public the Glenn Simpson transcript? Why are Christopher Steele and the F.B.I. being attacked by Republicans for alerting investigators and the nation to Russian "meddling"? Don't Republicans care that Russia (or any other nation) tried and continues to try to manipulate public opinion and legitimate processes in the United States? Is it more important to protect Donald J. Trump, his family and his business practices than to protect the integrity of the nation's elections? We can never know how President-elect Trump responded when briefed on the dossier, but given his and the Republican concern, is it ridiculous or merely partisan to wonder if this time there really is a "there" there? If, in truth, there is "no collusion," might there be other, more serious matters to be revealed before the curtain falls? Doug Giebel, Big Sandy, Montana

  6. Comey could tell us how Trump reacted to learning about the dossier as he is the person who had to tell him about the alleged sex tape. Whatever the reaction was, it was concerning enough to Comey to have him immediately start making memos of the conversation the minute he got back to the FBI car. A record exist; whether we will learn its contents is questionable.

  7. I am glad I read the transcript of Glenn Simpson's testimony released today. It sheds real light on Steele's role, the directives he was given, and the processes he employed to compile what every American should read. Beyond the current debate over mental fitness, there is an elemental discussion of criminality and influence perpetrated by Russia and wholly endorsed and encouraged by Trump and his allies. The politics don't matter here. This should be at the forefront of EVERY lawmaker's agenda, regardless of what their constituency requires for representation. Ignorance and apathy are no excuse for poor legislative process and partisan loyalty. Now more than ever, this is a cause for all Americans to understand and pursue to a responsible, just outcome.

  8. What you have expressed so well is called TREASON.

  9. Sunlight is the greatest disinfectant. Kudos to you and to Buzzfeed and kudos to Dianne Feinstein.

  10. Thanks, NYT, for pursuing the truth wherever it may take you. These days, the ride is ridiculous. In a sea of confusion and obfuscation, I depend on this source like no other. We need the press to do what the press does best. Investigate and expose, without apology.

  11. I first read about the 'the dossier' from the Guardian Julian Borger; it is important that information be available for a reader's judgement.

  12. I was hoping that the instant article opened up with a prominent e-link to the full text of the "35 page" document frequently referred to as "the dossier". I'd appreciate any assistance available. Although unless the author (Ben Smith) supplies it, the possibility of my reliance on an incorrect version cannot be guarded against. It all seems like a perverse 3 card Monte illusion until then.

  13. Here is a link to the Steele dossier as published by BuzzFeed: www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html

  14. If you had simply googled "Steele dossier text BuzzFeed" you could have found it instantly: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Alleg...

  15. Did I overlook those instructions in the article? How do you know that Smith is referring to the same text?

  16. While the circumstances may have been sketchy. I too am glad that BuzzFeed chose to do this. Not all of the continents have been verified, but it gives the American people a chance to understand what is going on behind the scenes.

  17. Most of what has been verified in the Steele dossier we already knew before the dossier was published. We knew Russia had interfered in the US election by hacking Clinton and Podesta emails. Throughout 2016, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was warning of interference in the election and specifically named Russia in early September. That Manafort had sleazy dealings with Ukrainian oligarchs wasn't a surprise. Let us also not forget that Tony Podesta helped Manafort work the political levers in Washington on behalf of the Ukrainian dictatorship. And Fusion GPS had its part in helping Russia try to get the Magnitsky Act repealed. No a lot of clean hands here. But there is no corroborating evidence for the most salacious allegations, nor is there any evidence of collusion. I'm sure Trump had his share of sleazy business dealings - perhaps even with some Russians. But if there was any collusion I suspect it would have been leaked by someone, somewhere long before now. In the end, I suspect Mueller will indict, or get plea bargains, from a few more people for pre-campaign financial crimes or lying to the FBI, but that's about it.

  18. You should read the Simpson transcript all the way to its end. There are several bombshells in there. That's all I'll say. I mean, you have no idea how much fuller the conspiracy picture is after you read that.

  19. There IS evidence of collusion. A Kremlin linked agent email Don Jr., and offered up dirt on Hillary. He replied "Yes!" They had a meeting where they talked about "adoptions," i.e. sanctions. Trump goes on TV and says there is going to be a release of damaging information. That is EVIDENCE! It may not definitively prove "collusion." But, it is absolutely evidence of collusion.

  20. James Clapper has lied directly X 2 under oath to Congress. This is not opinion. Please explain why you cite him as a reliable expert. Mueller has unlimited power and resources- he could charge Mother Teresa with perjury given his scope. Ask yourself- if question under oath- could you really answer every question without perjury of what you did the last 5 years?

  21. Events have justified Mr. Smith's decision. They may justify Sen. Feinstein's decision as well. These days, for American democracy, it is perhaps truly a case of "publish or perish."

  22. This reminds me of The Post publishing The Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War; there is now a movie about that, praising Katherine Graham for her courage in publishing those papers. The Times didn't step up then; however, it is now stepping up in another important challenge to the public's right to know. Had we known earlier about the seedy propaganda campaign launched by Dulles about a China/Vietnam "threat" to the U.S. Neither country had the means to attack a country 3,000 miles away. There are 58,000 names on a Wall in D.C. There is no Wall in Vietnam to name all the civilians killed in No. Vietnam, or those who were burned by napalm. Ho Chi Minh thought he had an agreement forged in Paris which gave him some authority after Dien Ben Phu. Vietnam was a civil war in which we decided to involve ourselves. Now we are doing business in Vietnam. Trump wants to build a Tower in Moscow; fancy that.

  23. The transcript itself justified the release. Thank you Sen. Feinstein

  24. "for American democracy" - can your general citizens elect President in anonumoust nationwide elections? It is more democracy in North Korea than in USA right now.

  25. A _what if_ question makes me ponder on what is going under 45, an the context of it all. What would have happened if a dossier of this credibility and graveness had appeared on President Obama? What would the republicans, and Mr. Trump himself, had done with it?

  26. I commend and applaud Buzz Feed for publishing the dossier. Incidentally, I find that coverage of the dossier, or rather of the inexcusable non-coveage of the dossier, buttresses the idea, that I have always subscribed to, that the alleged "liberal media" is really a rather conservative media. The supposedly liberal media takes liberal positions but does not cite the strongest arguments supporting those liberal positions and the effect pushes America to the right For example, John Doe sees film footage, on the evening news, showing S Vietnamese soldiers allegedly fighting the Vietcong, but the media does not report that the film footage was taken by the military and actually showed ARVN troops training (or making propoganda films) in rural Georgia, people are pushed to the right. Most people have heard of the dossier but most people do not know the incriminating and lewd sexual oddites discussed in the dossier. And please don't tell me that the Donald's sex life is off limits. The dossier suggests that Trump's sexual aberrations, recorded by the Russians when he was in his hotel room in Russia, is the basis of the blackmail by which the Russians have prodded Trump to be an apologist for Russia and to trash Nato. Besides, do you remember what was done to Bill Clinton? I remember that the progressive, urbane New Yorker had an article, during the Lewinsky crisis, which purported to describe, in detail, the President's male member.

  27. Read "Collusion". It describes how the Russian intelligence services have bugged hotel rooms and people's own apartments for decades. They bugged Hillary when she visited Moscow. (Just for the record, she didn't do anything "interesting".) So, if Trump had been half as much of a genius as he declared himself to be, he might have suspected they were taping him. Ironic, isn't it? Trump gets in high dungeon over the imagined bugging of his "wires" by Obama, which did not happen, and is clueless about the people who do it routinely.

  28. If Trump were not being blackmailed by Russians, he may have bragged about his hotel exploits himself. He is more worried about money, however.

  29. Articles in this paper have told us that the dossier corroborated information and events that the FBI had already discovered via other sources, e.g., the intelligence services of other countries. Those articles have also told us that the majority of what was in the dossier has been corroborated. The remainder has been publicly neither proven nor refuted. This dossier, like so much else about Mr. Trump, should have been published and discussed far more widely before the election. It was scandalous that the FBI discussed the nonsense Clinton investigations in detail but said nothing about the far more serious investigation into the conspiracy between Trump and the Russians to steal the election. The Fusion testimony released today by Senator Feinstein tells us all we need to know. During the first half of the Fusion testimony, the Republicans did not even ask about the present conspiracy investigation. Instead they attacked Fusion for the work they did some years ago for the law firm Baker Hostetler which was representing the Russian firm Prevezon in a money laundering indictment.

  30. Hillary Clinton won the election for president of United States even though republicans cheated in every way they could even deploying foreign agents. But the far right could never beat Hillary. It was the far left that beat her. Bernie sanders and his low information Bros made it possible to for them scrape out a electoral victory. Hillary should be our rightful president. Justice would stand up and say so.

  31. Mr. Smith’s own admission at the beginning of his contributing editorial that it has taken a full year for the public to realize the importance and veracity of the dossier is exactly why he should be doubly ashamed of publishing it in the first place. What separates good journalism from opinionated clickbait of the sort Buzzfeed relies upon for revenue is a ruthless journalistic sense of duty and inquiry. That duty requires journalists verify facts and sources completely and fully before publishing, or risk eliminating the power of their reporting. In an administrative environment where good fact based journalism is dismissed as fake news regularly, Buzzfeed’s publishing of the dossier early and before careful analysis gave those in power an easy cudgel to beat the entire media with. Buzzfeed’s actions stand in direct contrast to the underlying fundamentals of fact based journalism, and Mr. Smith’s attempted victory lap because the dossier turned out to be important is doubly shameful. The fact the dossier is still important is thanks to real journalists who have spent the necessary time shoring up their facts and sources in order to effectively speak to power in a credible manner. Buzzfeed’s actions almost made that an impossibility. Buzzfeed, if you really want to help, some advice: stick to quizzes about which kale salad topping my mood represents. Leave journalism to the pros.

  32. On the other hand, if the rough dossier hadn't been published nearly a year ago, if the media had waited until "careful analysis" was done, who would have believed the contents of the dossier? I'm sure partisans would have rushed to declare that it had been concocted to support the facts of the "careful analysis."

  33. As a reliable news source, Buzzfeed is evolving and developing, that is certain. Yet, they were smart enough and aware enough to know the power of information the Steele dossier contained. The difficulty of course was timing-- sharing it at a time when many news consumers were still willing to lend Trump & Co. an ear. Whether or not we care for some of the other work Buzzfeed has published should no longer diminish our comprehension of the vindication of Ben Smith's decision to release the dossier. Transparency in journalism is paramount. The same should be said of the legislative process. Loudly.

  34. I disagree. The dossier was not Buzzfeed's reporting. It was source material that they released - with caveats. When a news organization releases 45's doctor's letter saying Trump will be the healthiest president ever, should they be ashamed of that if they have not verified the veracity of the claim made by that doctor? When a new organization releases video of Sean Spicer saying that the inauguration crowd was the biggest ever, is that something they should not have done without verifying that it wasn't pulled out of Trumps backside? This dossier was/is relevant source material that was/is driving significant newsworthy developments.

  35. The nation (other than hard-core Trumpistas and alt-right types) is proud and grateful and so is the world! A great day for freedom of information and outing shady dealings!

  36. Thank you for publishing the dossier. It took courage, and clearly American needs more of that right now.

  37. Thank you for releasing the Dossier to the public. Also thanks to Senator Diane Feinstein for releasing the Fusion GPS transcript. It truly points out that Trump and his campaign worked closely with Russia to steal the 2016 election. Republican obstruction and the wringing hands across the the media landscape would have cost our nation dearly for years to come.

  38. “Trump and his campaign worked closely with Russia to steal the 2016 election” (1) “worked closely with Russia” (i) Russia is not a natural person so you should say “worked closely with some Russians” (ii) Can you connect these ‘Russians’ with any actions which ‘stole the 2016 Presidential Election? NO! (iii) Are these Russians clearly connected with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin? NO! (iv) Can you describe any actions which stole the 2016 Presidential Election? NO! (v) Can you describe any actions which stole the Democratic Nomination for the 2016 Presidential Election? YES! (These are described in current court cases in the USA) (vi) Was President Trump in any way connected with those actions that stole the Democratic Nomination? NO! (vii) Are you really worried about threats to American Democracy? Based on the evidence of your actions it seems not (viii) Are you engaged in a personal vendetta against President Trump? Based on the evidence of your actions it seems so (ix) I hope that President Trump is removed from Office due to incompetence or made impotent by forthcoming election results. But please spare me from the false posturing!

  39. A functioning democracy requires an informed electorate. Thank you for recognizing that. You and Sen. Feinstein just might have saved our country.

  40. Saved us from what...... 1. Record stock market 2. Roaring economy 3. Record employment for Blacks and Hispanics 4. 3 Quarters of 3%+ Annual growth, something Obama never had in 8 yrs. 5. The world is much safer with ISIS being wiped out....1 year later Yes saved the country, if he was Hillary you would be praising these accomplishments.

  41. Economy would be exactly the same if Clinton was elected....

  42. A functioning oligarchy requires a brainwashed electorate. Let me fix that for you.

  43. Personally, I'm glad you published the Dossier. We on the left know that the right will go out of its way to dismiss anything negative about t-rump, even if it is devastating to our country and democracy. Thank you.

  44. How is Trump devastating our country and democracy? Do you have any idea what he has accomplished (besides ruffling your feathers because he's not as couth as you)? Check out the jobs, unemployment, economic numbers, etc. Sounds like you have not been keeping up to date on what's happening. I think many of you here would rather see the country burn down than acknowledge Donald Trump has done amazing things.

  45. Donna Hill - Trump inherited a good economy, he has done nothing to boost the economy and has put in place things that will very likely cause economic harm to most Americans. It really does help to pay attention.

  46. Donna, as reported by this newspaper, the S&P500 increased about twice as fast under Obama as under Trump. Job numbers {reported by Fox(!)] have been sluggish under Trump compared to Obama. Just one of the many "amazing" things Trump has done is to demonize his political adversaries ("Lock her up!"), or demean them (Corker, Flake, Rubio). I could go on...

  47. 100% correct. The dossier was likely the primary basis for one of the most politically consequential investigations in FBI history so important that we see what's in it. And what do we see when we look? Absolutely zero. 1. Manafort's undisclosed, untaxed work with Ukraine has zero to do with Trump. 2. Nothing wrong with communicating with a Russian promising dirt. After all, the entire democrat financed dossier was sourced from Russians with dirt. 3. Trump looked at deals in Russia. And in about 25 other countries! Have you ever noticed in the thousands of Trump/Russia articles there is always reference to the vague "collusion" but never to a specific allegation that can be proven or disproven. The reality is after all this time not only is there no evidence, there is not even a specific allegation.

  48. You conveniently ignore the four indictments and two guilty pleas thus far. And as to the evidence and allegations, none of us knows more than what Mueller has chosen to reveal. So in point of fact, you do not know whether there is "no evidence" or the lack of "a specific allegation". What that means is that you must calm down and wait, along with the rest of us.

  49. I think the more precise term here is obstruction of justice. The coverup is usually worse than the crime.

  50. The investigation is not over yet. Kompromat would explain Trump's obsequious behavior toward Putin. You forget that the dossier originally started out having been paid for by Republicans trying to get dirt on Trump, but they gave up when he won the Republican nomination. The information was then offered to the Democrats as an afterthought. The dossier is not the only source of information on the Trump campaign. Information had also come from Australian diplomats, alarmed that Russia appeared to be undermining a US election. What is proven so far is that members of the Trump team had clandestine meetings with Russian operatives and lied to the FBI about it. They didn't get those guilty pleas for nothing.

  51. A serious downside of publishing the dossier is that it may have led to the deaths of one or more intelligence sources in Russia, as indicated in today's released transcript of Simpson's testimony. And, it's possible that it may have compromised the FBI's counter-intelligence investigation by revealing to the Kremlin the extent of western intelligence's knowledge.

  52. It seems entirely more likely that the information made available to Kislyak via Flynn re. Trump being briefed on FSB front-running interference in direct support for Trump's campaign is what confirmed leaks at top FSB levels and Kaspersky Lab. As with "The Fire and the Fury" the source of the biggest leak and leaker always seems to leave back to Trump himself. AKA John Barron, and likely as not a dozen regular Times commentators consistently supportive of Trump's most untenable positions.

  53. That downside actually comes from the dossier being leaked to the press, rather than the press publishing it. Once the press has the information, it's their duty to report on it to the public and let the public make their own determinations. It is the duty of intelligence agencies to secure and maintain secret information, not the free press.

  54. What counter-intelligence? Comey's testimony which again alluded to Clinton's e-mails? There were anti-Clinton agents buried in the FBI; Comey was rolled by those agents with "fake news" about Clinton's server. Didn't Clinton inherit her private server from Colin Powell who warned her that State's server was hacked more than once? Why did Don, Jr. welcome any dirt offered by Russians on Clinton? A foreign adversary was offering dirt on a candidate during our electoral process, and Don, Jr. did not report that to the FBI? And, we are expected to believe that Don, Jr. would not have shared that offer with his father? That is as believable as another sale of the Brooklyn Bridge. Finally, let us hope that Mueller gets Trump's tax records which would show a 250M loan from Russians laundered through The Bank of Cyprus and Deutsche Bank. That loan was reported by The New Yorker more than a year ago. And, why would a private jet land in FL with 95M to purchase distressed property owned by Trump?

  55. The Times is right in providing this information to the public. The American people deserve to have a view of all the facts (as always, as long as they do not harm sensitive sources of intelligence gathering). These publications keep an honest debate alive in a period where one thinks this soap can not get any worse, and Trump-news-tiredness might kick in. From the first moment that the Donald suggested that the Russians should publish information on Hillary, I have been convinced that they was some foul play at stake, as I have indicated on this forum. His demeanour told it all. I deplore the American people of having been fooled into a presidency that diminishes the US standing in the world, and might be appear to be disastrous for presidential generations to come. It took Obama 8 years to undo some of the harm done by Bush Jr, economically and diplomatically. This is even worse. Interestingly, Mueller will no doubt confront Trump with all the direct and circumstantial evidence about the Russia inquiry, and I suspect will use Trump's dodgy financial dealings as a lever to get to more admissions from him. The Special Counsel is wise to try to start with a face-to-face discussion, because the information is probably too damaging, and thus allow 45 a quiet retreat, without the whole political system having to get in arms over formal disposal of this president. More to come for sure ...

  56. "Mueller will no doubt confront Trump with all the direct and circumstantial evidence about the Russia inquiry" Could you please give here these "evidence"?

  57. "It took Obama 8 years to undo some of the harm done by Bush Jr, economically and diplomatically. This is even worse." And he still didn't undo all of the damages done by W. It was just too much to repair in 8 years. Be warned; the repairs from the Trump administration may take several decades to repair, and I am not so sure the job will ever be completed. If we ever get a better Congress they better work fast ad furiously.

  58. It's all a matter of perspective, isn't it? You want the US to have greater "standing" in the world. We'd like a healthy economy, a sovereign nation, and a chance to keep the culture of Americanism which should bind all of us together. It's also a matter of understanding sarcasm, facetiousness, humor, etc., of which anti-Trumpsters cannot grasp in Donald Trump's personality or rarely in anyone who throws humor in their face. (His remarks about Hillary's e-mails). It's amazing that most of you can write such seemingly intelligent paragraphs with good spelling and grammar and yet cannot see the hypocrisy and bias in your own thought processes.

  59. i'm proud you published the dossier too. free speech and press is the light that drives out the darkness tyranny requires to exist and prevail. now if we can just get the tax returns to prove russian financial involvement and foreign banking tax shenanigans.

  60. Given the unpatriotic behavior of long time Senators Grassley and Graham in trying to throw sand into the Mueller investigation and into the eyes of the public it would not surprise this voter if, no matter what comes out of this investigation, Republicans never let go of Trump, who has given them the best possibility of passing legislation they have hungered for for over half a century. Two thirds of the nation see Trump for the person he is, not the one he boasts about. But they won’t count unless a good part of that number are also Republicans who vote for patriotism and not party in November. Nothing else will give our democracy a chance of maintaining itself. Even with a Democratic Congress the destruction of the federal agencies will continue, but we might possibly get some judges whose “sense of the law” doesn’t go back to the landed gentry and property owners of 18th century England.

  61. Why wouldnt they go back even further? Our constitution does.

  62. Half a century? What about George W. Bush? I recall 9/11 had the result of knocking quite a few Republican ducks into a row.

  63. Unless they are somehow impeached, the Trump appointed judges will remain for another generation to further corrupt the justice system.

  64. We are grateful for great journalism, whether via The Times, Buzzfeed, or in a book by someone who had access to the Whitehouse in the past year.

  65. We are grateful for great journalism, whether via The Washington TImes, Fox News.

  66. Wolff is on record as stating no White House staff were interviewed for his book.

  67. I very often watch Fox News..........then I know that the truth lies on the opposite side of what they report. It helps me verify what I hear from the "normal" news sources........

  68. I understand the article's point of view. Still, I feel it would have been better to have been selective in what from the dossier had been released. I don't think it was appropriate to have made public the salacious details, especially as they were wholly unsubstantiated and were personally insulting and demeaning to President Trump. Buzzfeed could have accomplished its mission by reporting the remainder of the dossier while alluding to the issue of possible blackmail without giving embarrassing specifics.

  69. When I hear of a GOP that is blatantly trying to squash all of this information, discredit all aspects of it, and calling for a criminal investigation of the person who brought this information to light, I have no doubt that any unreported segments would have been used as a pretense for saying 'it's lies, they're covering up the truth...' knowing full well that what wasn't reported was more dirt against Trump. But obfuscating would work because they could spin it to raise doubt. So, let it all out and see what parts have merit. Certainly much has already been corroborated!

  70. Based on what anyone can see about trump it's probably all true.

  71. Oh,please! Trump NEVER hesitates to personally insult and demean others. He "tells it like it is ",with PLENTY of embarrassing specifics. Why try to protect him from getting back what he so gleefully throws at others?

  72. Mr. Steele also reported, in pages submitted just 11 days after a Russian lawyer reportedly promised Mr. Trump’s aides negative information on Hillary Clinton during a meeting in Trump Tower, that “the Kremlin had been feeding Trump and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.” As Brannon said, at the very least this offer should have been reported to the fbi. The person who now "leads" this country failed in the most basic way to report that a foreign entity offered to undermine our democracy. Why is he allowed to continue to serve (himself)? Why do the republicans continue to support this anti-American activity? Are the Russians threatening them?

  73. In a normal world that alone would disqualify a presidential candidate. In this Fire and Fury world it takes much more. Thank God Feinstein and Buzzfeed is helping us see the "much more." As a life long Republican i am starting to HATE the Republican party. Sad!

  74. I just posted the same thing. WHY when Pence is in the wings etc. does the GOP continue to go to the mat for Trump especially when he ruins everyone who comes in contact with him. I seem to recall before Christmas that there was talk that Mueller was going to be interviewing people from the RNC regarding HRC's emails. This has fallen out of the news with everything else that is going on.

  75. The republicans know there's substance in the dossier, the problem with admitting this, and the reason why they're claiming it's all fake, is that their electoral 'win' (and their future chances of winning) are what's at stake. If the end result of all this is a conclusion that the Democrats would have won if not for Russian interference, then the entire result, the SCOTUS appointments, and all legislation passed since they took office, become subject to challenge. And this doesn't even address the idea that the electronic voting machines were likely hacked; RLS keeps bringing this up because the exit polls didn't match the official results by such a large margin in many places that many people claim that the official result is a statistical impossibility. It's been said that such large differences would cause UN election observers to nullify an election they were overseeing.

  76. The fact remains that we don't know exactly what the dossier contains. Circumstantial evidence exists that its contents may be damning to the President but we need more than circumstantial evidence to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

  77. "The fact remains that we don't know exactly what the dossier contains." Are you joking ? It's the title of the article - We know exactly what is in the dossier. Beyond that, much of the content in the dossier has been verified by further investigation and none (to my knowledge) have proven to be false.

  78. This is not a murder trial, and we don't need "proof beyond a reasonable doubt". Neither Trump nor anyone else will likely be charged for treason, even if it is true. I suspect "a preponderance of evidence" would do, and we may well have that already.

  79. it can be found here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Alleg...

  80. "And we understand why President Trump’s supporters remain furious at the airing of a disturbingly vivid unproven allegation about encounters with prostitutes." I wonder how furious Hillary Clinton was in seeing all the conspiracy theories posted by Russians via Facebook and right-wing publications such as Breitbart. The alleged Clinton "pizza parlor child sex ring" accusation even led an North Carolina man to fire an assault rifle inside the alleged den of iniquity. That's what freedom of the press is: the right to publish both true and false, or, as with the dossier, some combination of the two. T In fact, this entire year has been a civics lesson, particularly for younger generations born after the 60s and 70s when the defense of press freedoms played such a pivotal role in our nation's history. That said, Mr. Smith, you made a decision to publish despite the wishes of Christopher Steele to keep this under wraps until the authorities could deal with it properly. I guess my biggest question now is, despite being "proud" of what you did, would you do it again after seeing the turmoil it's caused our politics? I don't think history will look kindly on recent GOP attacks on the dossier and Fusion GPS to divert from an investigation that's getting dangerously close to the president's inner circle. But history will likely view Senator Feinstein's release of Fusion GPS's testimony as courageous attempt set the record straight on the real role of the dossier.

  81. Senator Dianne Feinstein did one of the most patriotic acts we have witnessed in a while, just as Senator John McCain did when he tried his best to ensure the FBI had the dossier, and just as Senator Harry Reid did when he wrote to former FBI Director James Comey basically imploring him to release information the FBI had on the Trump-Russia links. Tonight Senator Richard Blumenthal spoke on the floor of the Senate about upcoming indictments and convictions; it does not look like it will not a garden view for this administration or the GOP when the truth all comes out.

  82. Turmoil was caused to politics by the Trump campaign. If you propose not reporting malfeasance to protect politics, you really propose the destruction of politics.

  83. There's very little to tie the Russians to any "influence campaign" or to smear Hillary Clinton. Less than $50,000 in Facebook ads by "Russia-linked" sources ran before the election (note the always present qualifications, like "linked," in articles by actual journalists in quality papers/sites), many of which were anti-Trump, and some about puppies. Now of course in implicating Breitbart and its ilk you are completely correct. But the "evidence" drummed up so far to substantiate some "active measures" op are a joke.

  84. No one should forget that the republicans have tried to smear Chris Steele and Fusion GPS. How can anyone think anything other than the republicans place party before country.

  85. Just acknowledging their underhanded actions puts them in the worst possible light-not much a smear-job can really do to top what they did to themselves...

  86. The question is what does the party want. it certainly isn't the conservation values of their party platform. Whatever it is, wealth and protection of the wealth class over all other citizens plays a central role. Trump's election and personal style has ripped the curtain from the window that looks into the Rep party's heart. Government to them is not about what t is best for the people but what is best for business. The selling point of this strategy is that all the deregulation, tax reform, deportations is clearing the way for the rest of us to enter the wealthy class. If we fail, it is because we just didn't try hard enough. We deserve then to be powerless servants of the ultra rich and their businesses. Buying this kind of society is a poison to democracy and human values.

  87. No one should forget that the democrats have tried to smear Donald Trump. How can anyone think anything other than the democrats place party before country.

  88. There is much talk about Trump's Russia connections but something I found in the Fusion transcript is concerning--Trump's ties to organized crime. We know that he was very close to Roy Cohn, even calling out recently, "Where's my Roy Cohn," and that Cohn was the lawyer for several major mob figures. We also know that Trump gave a trophy to a known mob figure at his 2017 New Year's Eve party at Mar-A-Lago. Some of what Steele found had ties to organized crime. Does it concern anybody else that Trump did/does business with organized crime?

  89. This information has been around for quite a while. Try The New Yorker if you want to keep up.

  90. No, most people know, every developer and every important figure in construction business on the East Coast had dealings with organized crime figures. As Sam Lefrak once told me, you did business with the people you had to do business with. As for Roy Cohen, few people worked with hand-in-hand with Mr. Cohen, then the the late Robert Kennedy, although the family and friends have spent decades and a fortune to whitewash that history. As for British Intelligence Officers, they have a storied history of failures, first in dealing with the Soviet Union and later with Russia. Unless we're talking about James Bond or George Smiley, British intelligence is not the most reliable source of information. I think if you do a little research and not accept Times' reporting at face value, or worse, their op-ed contributor's findings, you'll see what really matters seldom makes news and what makes news seldom matters.

  91. I am a former New Yorker, this is no secret. Trump's connection with the Mob has been known for most (if not all) of my 39 years. Had the media did their jobs during the Presidential campaign, you would not be surprised about any of this.

  92. Enough within the “dossier” has been proven inaccurate that the whole thing is suspect; and its potential motivations and actual sponsors always made it suspect. One always should be proud of one’s creations, but this statement reads like something Aaron Sorkin might have written about one of his brilliant works of cinematic fiction – except that what Sorkin creates really is brilliant, and this was merely … politically utile. Steele himself claims that the items in his dossier are “70%-90% accurate”. It seems, however, that the primary source for that admission of INaccuracy is the author of the inaccuracies himself. The problem with dumping unconfirmed raw “intelligence” on the public by a source such as Buzzfeed is its sloppiness. Uncorroborated, its legitimate purpose is to provide stalking horses for additional quiet and sub-rosa digging, when a possible threat MAY exist and it’s incumbent on an intelligence agency to determine if the threat does exist; and, if it does, its potential national security impact. That’s not how the “dossier” was used, which was as an attack vehicle by ideologically vested Trump adversaries, presented as if it was the product of a vetted fact-determination process arising from a trial process, something it clearly was not. We’re creating a monster here, where anyone’s reputation can be credibly attacked by innuendo given the appearance of fact, given that appearance … merely by the partisan resolve to present it as such.

  93. There are details in this dossier which remain unproven, however since its release a significant amount of the content has been verified. To date, nothing has been disproved despite a full court press by the GOP obfuscation team.

  94. Senator Diane Feinstein said to the press today with regards to the dossier "to my knowledge there is not a single fact in that report that has proven to be incorrect". To claim that enough within the dossier has been "proven to be inaccurate" is just not true. The dossier remains mostly unverified but, as Smith notes, some of it has been confirmed.

  95. Obviously, not everyone agrees with you. Those who don't, like me, have the right to know more, given the seriousness of what is suggested. The right to know more. Not such an outrageous thing to ask for.

  96. One key point the Simpson testimony to Congress makes is that the FBI had another source, unknown to Christopher Steele (at least at first?), that corroborated many of his findings. What's really explosive in the testimony are two things. First, the Simpson transcript says that the source was in the Trump organization. Was it Papadopoulos, as the New York Times reported today. who told the Australian diplomat but did not call the FBI, as Simpson says? Or was it someone else? And if it was, is that person still working from Trump? Second, if you think about Simpson's testimony, it's clear that the GOP have known since late last summer that continued talk about the dossier being "fake news" was nonsense. Simpson is speaking under the penalty of not lying to Congress, so it's akin to testifying under oath. The GOP Senators like Grassley and Graham know what Simpson said, which probably is why they wouldn't release the transcript and then went after Steele. But if they know the dossier isn't fake, why haven't they stopped the President from saying this? Why do any of them say this themselves? Don't they realize they're potentially participating in and furthering a scandal that could make Watergate look like a sandbox game?

  97. They should be prosecuted for purposely lying to the American public.

  98. Don't they realize...? Of course they do. And that is why they will do everything in their power to keep the whole, ugly truth under wraps.

  99. Watergate already looks like a sandbox game compared to this treasonous, criminal, political disaster. Watergate was also not a threat to the Executive branch's health and basic honesty, unlike the consequences of the Trump administration. Nobody died, directly or indirectly, from Watergate--something that already can't be said this time. Certainly, the Republican Party's long-running assault on truth augmented/led by Fox and friends has been a major contributor. However, the specifics of the Russian caper and cover-up, now including essentially the entire Republican Party dwarf's the size, seriousness, and consequences of Watergate.

  100. I read the transcript. And it raised a lot of questions for me. You can have opposition research and you can have intelligence, but they're not the same. Opposition research is commissioned research. It's designed to help whoever is paying for it. There are no specific rules for verification, distribution, or anything else. Intelligence is assumed to be simply that--not designed to achieve specific ends. There are rules about verification, distribution, etc. Thise rules are what give it credibility. Mr. Steele, who did the Russian investigating for Fusion, started giving his information to the FBI from the first memo he wrote and continued to do so. Simultanously, Mr. Steele, Mr Simpson, and others from Fusion were inviting journalists to meetings and giving the information to them as well. This was without any verification of the information. That meets no standard for anything.

  101. So your position is that we, em, would be better off not knowing? Mr. Steele trusted what he was finding out and from where. As Feinstein's information from yesterday showed, the Russians weren't trying to cover it up in the summer of 2016. It wasn't a story outside of that country, so people felt free to talk. Steele determined it was important for the FBI to know that a foreign power was trying to influence our election, important is it not? Should we all pretend it didn't happen? Steele was afraid the FBI wasn't taking it seriously enough and that was the reason he started to speak with journalists. Since much of the information has been verified, it was good at the time he gave it to the FBI. He knew it then, and we know it now.

  102. My point is you can't have it both ways. The information was produced in response to a request and funding by the DNC and the Clinton campaign. That's opposition research, fine. It was provided to the FBI from the first memo onwards, because of concerns it raised. And Comey--then head if the FBI--called it unproven and salacious. That's the "intelligence" viewpoint of the dossier. So for Fusion to be trafficking "unproven and salacious" opposition research as "intelligence" does not bare scrutiny.

  103. That is why they gave it to the FBI to investigate.

  104. It was a strange decision to publish the dossier, but I do feel grateful to have more insight into the forces at play in America. Those forces being not just the Russians but people so wealthy they hold no allegiance to any particular nation and are willing to subvert our political system for their personal gain. We are powerlessly watching as they use the Republicans to loot our country and destroy its standing in the world. Their next step is to re-write the Constitution to disenfranchise us all and turn it into the criminal oligarchy they desire. The dossier helped expose this plot. Dianne Feinstein's courageous actions today releasing the transcripts may help prevent these forces from succeeding in their aims, but I fear that it's too little too late. The plot may be too big to take down.

  105. It is too late.

  106. It would help you far greater if you demanded your heroic democrats PROVE what's been written. Afterall, they did spend $13 MILLION on it, one would expect them to get SOMETHING right. Diane Feinstein released closed door testimony of of Steele/GPS thinking it would prove Trump rallied with Russians when in fact, in proved otherwise! Again, her actions weren't courageous...she tried to pull the wool over our eyes and apparently there are still dimmies out there like yourself who still believe it. Take note: investigations into Trump/Russia collusion by Mueller's team have found absolutely nothing...nothing! And that's all they do all day, day in and day out....NOTHING! Meanwhile, more and more evidence, documentation, and facts are coming out to prove it was the Democrats who colluded with Russians and worse...that our law enforcement agencies are corrupt. That all the investigations that took place while Obama was president were corrupt and criminal, and now we've got MULTIPLE investigations reinvestigating not just the crimes that took place by democrats, but also the corruption and criminality of the DoJ and FBI! Both chambers of Congress have several investigations going, while the DoJ has started investigations as well as the Inspector General who has been investigating these same matters for over a year, including 27 separate investigations into leaking!

  107. Quite right!

  108. What I have learned is that there is good journalism that provides facts and supports it's conclusions with them as in Ben Smith's case. And there is pick and choose journalism as practiced by jaundiced press. We all know the largest of these, Unfortunately we have politicians that will join the latter in providing support for misinformation as we recently witnessed by the 2 Republican Senators that asked the FBI to investigate Mr. Steele. Kill the messenger advocates.

  109. BuzzFeed deserves the gratitude of a nation for publishing the dossier. I just hope the recent lawsuit doesn't force BuzzFeed to spend money it cannot afford to spend.

  110. I agree with the sentiment. I'm not sure I trust the source though. If I were editor in chief of BuzzFeed, I would author an editorial in the absolute most positive light possible without being dishonest. Credit to Mr. Smith for accomplishing the job well. Again, I largely agree. However, I don't see the point. The problem is we didn't need the letter. The dossier, yes. The letter, no. Here's how I look at the situation. If the Steele dossier is even 50-80 percent accurate as Steele himself professed, I don't need to know how BuzzFeed feels about the public's response. Is "Fox & Friends" reporting New York Times opinions to their viewers? What I need is action from our public officials. Instead we find ourselves in the partisan equivalent of World War I. McConnell and Ryan are the modern day embodiment of Douglas Haig. I don't think Ben Smith is helping to break the gridlock. Quite frankly I think Mr. Smith's effort, as well intentioned as the note may be, is counter productive. Defending a specific publication for the decision to the Steele dossier only enhances the perception of bias within the ranks of the Fox News consuming public. Meanwhile, you're preaching to the choir here. Basically, Smith isn't changing anyone's mind. The effort therefore does more harm than good. Unless of course you happen to work for BuzzFeed that is.

  111. >> "...given that a portion of Mr. Steele’s funding came from political enemies of Mr. Trump, including the Democratic National Committee." Please don't feed this narrative, which is part of the problem. We are not "enemies" of Mr. Trump, or even "political enemies". We are all Americans here. There was a glorious time in our nation's history when those running for political office were simply "contestants". Often, they were friends. When did we stop fighting our real enemies and start fighting each other over the taking of the same hill? Just report the news, please. Not encourage it. Yes, it is sometimes a fine line, but hopefully the news media will keep to its charter even when the other three estates falter. The success of our nation may depend on it.

  112. I agree with Adriano. You may be proud, but do you also take into account the risk of having blood on your hands? Free Press is very important, but by publishing this, you endangered sources and might possibly have led to the death of 1 or 2 Russian intelligence officers. I don't know how you can be proud of that? Revelations keep the public informed, for sure. Just make sure you filter out any parts that can lead to personal acquisitions or recognition. For me, only in times of war it is justified to publish reports that endanger lives. And today is not such time... Notwithstanding that getting this information out to the public is indeed an important step to keep the public informed, of course!

  113. Thank you to BuzzFeed. It's because clear to me that there are serious problems that determine the fate of not just this country but the world. They are so serious that any responsible source must be recognized rather than try to keep normalizing this situation. The Republican Part members, donors, political stooges are in cahoots with the monster-in-chief to render this country a plutocracy. The destiny of genuine representative government in a democratic republic is at stake.

  114. "Journalistic traditionalists didn’t like the idea of sharing an unfiltered, unverified document with the public, whatever the caveats and context. " Interesting how "journalistic traditionalists" view the documents of a retired British intelligence agent as being more "unfiltered, unverified" those of WikiLeaks.

  115. Why does it even matter if it’s its made up? Perception is reality and the best thing the media can do to take down Trump is to publish any and all stories to put Trump in a bad light. People will believe if pushed from a reliable source.

  116. A free and functioning democracy requires only one thing. The truth. The whole truth. And nothing but the truth.

  117. We are told someone has been killed over publication of this dossier. It is only too likely that this is true. A great deal is at stake - far more than the venal ambitions of Donald Trump. We face the total overthrow of democracy in America by Russians aided and abetted by Republicans. BuzzFeed is an heroic institution, the best sort of a free press. And now, ironically,they are being sued by one of Trump's lawyers, though the prospects are excellent that the case will be thrown out. If there is hope for the survival of America, and such hope is pretty faint at the moment, it's because of courageous journalists like those at BuzzFeed. Thank you.

  118. I see no reason to be proud. First even if I accept that is correct to publish the dossier now is not a reason to believe it was correct to do then. Second since this dossier has not been proven I do not see how it is anything but gossip. The Russian investigation has not been a challenge to Trump's Presidency. I have seen no evidence that Trump is even being investigated. It's only people who have already judged Trump that would accept that the Russian investigation threatens Trump's Presidency.

  119. "Journalistic traditionalists didn’t like the idea of sharing an unfiltered, unverified document with the public, whatever the caveats and context." The 'tradionalists' were right. A year later the contents of 'the dossier' remain unverified and the 'caveats and context' do little to hide the fact that BuzzFeed's release of the contents served primarily the interests of those who paid for the compilation of the dossier; the DNC and the Hillary campaign. As more facts are revealed in the Fusion GPS bank records and the release of FBI records detailing the motives behind the investigation and wiretaps it should become clear that however noble Mr. Smith may belief his actions were, he was actually a duped conduit, used for partisan gain by Mr. Trump's political opponents.

  120. There is nothing in any of these documents that someone could not imagine, just seeing Trump in action over the years. However, having it in print brings it to a different level. There's one event described in the dossier that has not been released, although maybe it has been found and reviewed by at least a few people. Maybe they're saving that bombshell for Xmas 2018, if we are all good and patient children.

  121. It's important to remember that it was Republicans who initially approached Mr. Steele.

  122. Thank you for publishing the dossier, and thank you for writing this. Your op-ed and Dianne Feinstein's release of explosive and very credible testimony should be the top stories in every newspaper in America today.

  123. In some ways I wish I didn't know about the dossier. If I didn't know about it, and the parts that have been proven true, I wouldn't as fully understand just how complete the GOP sell-out of our country has been. There is no longer a balance of power, and congressional investigations into Russian influence and election tampering are a complete farce. I suppose it is better for me to have lost what remained of any youthful idealism I had this year. However, it hasn't been a pleasant experience. I can't wait for midterms. I will talk to friends about voting, and I will donate to out-of-state candidates (like the democrat running in Jason Chavez's district).

  124. Plain & simple the released docs are unclassified & had every right to be released. Timing is a question - without releasing it could continue to be used as a foil for public opinion that the investigation is fabricated. Also keep in mind that it is just on of the nanny pieces of the puzzle & sources which hopefully will someday be pulled together so we can close this sad chapter & move forward more tightly as a nation & democracy rather than 2 parties struggling to find their way back to the values they both stood for. The Dems have a chance still - I'm not so sure of the Republicans that have sided with Trump & have forgotten their moral objections during the primary. Mueller will hopefully help right the ship again. This is not about the parties - it's about how we will define ourselves.

  125. The issue isn't whether Buzzfeed had the right to publish the dossier, but whether it was right to publish it, considering that many of the allegations it contains are demonstratively false and that none of those which may be true are demonstratively true. While U,S. libel laws are not plaintiff friendly, Buzzfeed apparently put forth no effort to substantiate the allegations by contacted the individuals it accuses of unlawful acts. This makes it vulnerable to lawsuits, some of which have been fil3ed.

  126. I'm curious as to how you know that some of the allegations are demonstrably false while at the same time know others are not demonstrably true. Are you picking and choosing which are which? On what basis? For Buzz Feed to have verified the information before publishing they would they need the capacity of the CIA, FBI. NSA and access to Richard Steele's spy network of contacts. This was not "opposition research" - he had an affair once, took a bribe once kind of thing. The dossier is news and needs to be read because it relates directly to demonstrable acts by the President and his staff and demonstrable contacts (multiple) with a representatives of the Russian government during a presidential campaign.

  127. They put out a statement explaining their reasoning behind putting out and in no way endorsed it as a researched news story for them to publish. They came from the angle as there is information that is not classified that we will be posting and in no way are we part of this dossier in regards to funding or investigating. Obviously, it ended up being the match to a line of gunpowder. In respect, this is no different than some of the fake news that comes out, such as the pizza-gate story. Could the pizza parlor sue the publisher of that story which inspired a maniac to walk in with a gun to "save the children" or is it just so-called declassified information that can be posted without a claim of investigative journalism? What about Info Wars? The truth is, they are all in the same category, with the exception of some sources do real journalism (not saying Buzzfeed is that but in general).

  128. I do not accept the logic, Just because it has been accepted now does not mean that when it was done was it the right thing to do.

  129. There is more, much more to this story, what you uncovered is just the tip of the iceberg. Keep up the good work, dig more - the true patriots thank you.

  130. By publishing the whole dossier, Buzzfeed made sources vulnerable. At least one death is proposed to have resulted from their failure to fully redact identifying information from Steele's raw intelligence. Important, relevant information could have been made available without endangering sources and compromising future intelligence gathering.

  131. Trump needs to release his taxes, now more than ever. If not to the public, then to the special counsel. There should be a subpoena.

  132. The GOP remains complicit in trying to find everyway to minimize an investigation into Russian interference into our elections, thereby, giving Russia a huge win. They are winning. We are losing our role as a world leader. We're also moving away from being a democratic nation. Evil flourishes when good men do nothing. Thank you for printing the dossier.

  133. First off we need a bottom line on the cost of the inquiry. It can be determined which agency budget will be tabbed.

  134. Yes, the Times did the right thing publishing this dossier. This country belongs to We the People. Freedom of the press is the backbone of our democracy. It is the vehicle that keeps we, the public informed on all issues. It is our work to critically assess all competing information. Keep doing what you are doing NY Times.

  135. Partisanship means finding acceptable things done against your adversaries that would outrage you if it were done to people you support. The left was giddy about these claims about Trump, whether true or false, but were not glad for true but hacked revelations about Clinton's or the DNC's emails. Both sides act as if they are basing their beliefs and actions on principle, when they really just want the upper hand. Hacking and gov't leaking is illegal and those who do it should be punished if within our power. But, let's not pretend that no one likes revelations from illicitly gathered or leaked materials. Everyone likes it if it helps their side or hurts the other side. We should want the media to act responsibly - that is, not publish things about which they have not at least tried to ascertain the truth or authenticity. This is especially true when the material is salacious or involves private lives. At some point, little is certain, and there is no reason the public should not have access to raw data or source material so that people can try to make better decisions. The decision to publish is always one of judgment. It doesn't help, though, when the media takes sides because it lends to the belief that they are not acting responsibly and are just trying to win. Often, that is the case. Mr. Smith makes some valid points, but I think he just wanted to hurt Trump. For many, that's fine. For others, they would have been okay with it had it been about a Clinton.

  136. The actors who were truly irresponsible were those who sat on the story for over a month, thereby depriving the American public of information they needed to choose wisely on November 8, 2016. If our media weren't so paternalistic and craven, they'd have published this before the election, with caveats, and disclaimers, and then let the public decide. Now that the fox is happily presiding over the hen house, the chance of the public learning the truth is zero, as is the likelihood of him being held accountable for his wrongdoing. There are both sins of omission and sins of commission. Sitting on this story as the entire Washington press corp did was the former.

  137. The reason a slippery slop argument is consider a fallacy is because of the long acknowledged "reasonable person" standard. Humans are extrodaniary because we're not the binary, black and white of an algorithm. The dossier isn't fact or not fact, fake news or not fake news... it is an educated and informed report from an individual most reasonable people would give some deference to. I am saddened that we can't, as reasonable people, look at this and say only, "this seems like it needs to be examined, proven or disproven, as dispassionate investigators." We'll get to the bottom of this. We shouldn't jump ahead, dismiss or treat as fact this important document. Let us practice what is best in us and assume innocence until proven guilty.

  138. Like it or not, we live in an age of organic news. The days of having three independent sources to support a story are gone. Everyone, including our president have unleashed a firehose of “news” they thought they heard in the hallway. Every “fact” will be questioned by those who don’t want to believe it. The new standard has to be publish it, give your sources and methods and let those who are willing to do the work, figure out what to believe.

  139. I'm glad you're proud. I am not glad that the Greed Over People party are not following the constitution by insisting POTUS follow the constitution. All of this reality, facts, etc, ... is meaningless unless we can turn the Houses around. Turning the Trumpettes around is a lost cause, but, perhaps, we can still take care of them if we manage to turn the government back several decades when there was more of a preponderance "of of the people, by the people, and for the people."

  140. There’re two historically and media-wise connected, however, ultimately morally, politically and geopolitically distinct, issues relating to the Trump-Russia dossier: the first is the nature, the degree and the risks of Trump’s and his associates’ relations with Russia and its fellow-travelers. On this issue, the majority of reasonable observers estimate that before the election Trump and his circle were intensively colluding with Russian various “agents” in order to gain privileged access to Russian business opportunities and, as the campaign progressed, to get the “dirt” on H. Clinton. It is also more than probable that the Kremlin has compromising details about Trump’s behavior on the salacious lines the dossier revealed. BuzzFeed should indeed be proud. The second related issue is the nature, the degree and the risks of the Russian proven penetration of the American electoral system. On this issue, Mr. Sipher’s conclusion that “Russia’s goal all along has been to do damage to America and our leadership role in the world” is certainly not “crystal-clear, certain, consistent and corroborated,” It’s a broad accusation which fails to take into account the fact that the Kremlin was near-sure that Trump will lose (as was Trump) and that Putin was reacting to similar American machinations in what he considers as Russia’s area of influence. Picking a fight with Russia on fear-mongering pretexts in order to topple Trump is the most dangerous of historical follies.

  141. "While Mr. Trump’s camp dismiss the dossier as malicious fiction or pure political opportunism, some elements have been corroborated." Shouldn't that be, "While Mr. Trump's camp dismisses the dossier . . . ."?

  142. I say congratulations to Buzzfeed and Ben Smith for their decision to publish the incredibly important Steele document. Not only was its role important for American citizens to understand the Trump-Russia investigation, it continues to be important as indictments flow from it and Republican diversions swirl around it. Bravo for your considerations before publishing and your bravery in publishing it in its entirety.

  143. Its always the coverup that causes the most damage. We have lots of experience with this but the politicians can't get it. Once the Repubs refused to release the info then they were seen as highly suspicious. It is obvious to anyone that a collection of information like this can be shown to be true or not. However trying to hide it definitely defines 'guilty". It really will not change many minds, those for trump will not accept any of it and those against hime will read things in that are not there. Ultimately it will be a court of lawyers and experienced committees (not political ones) that will decide if the things said are true or not. By trying to hide this document the Congress has lost even more respect and trust (although that is now near zero) and Grassley and his group are now even less trusted.

  144. The lesson from Peter Thiel's funding of Bollea vs Gawker is that enough money invested in litigation against a news source can bankrupt and bury it for good. There will be unlimited funds plied into this suit by Trump's loyalists in an attempt to suppress elements of this unfolding story- that can illuminate the reader, the American public, as to the machinations of elected leaders in the pursuit of power. It's time for Americans to protect the 1st Amendment.

  145. I am getting really curious about who is paying for all of Trump's lawyers. He has what now - 8 or 9 personal lawyers to fight all the lawsuits?

  146. I suspect that Ben Smith is not only delusional but also travels in a very small circle of like-minded men and women. His practiced explanations remind one of the rapid hand movement of a three-card-monte dealer. If I may mix by card-playing metaphors: When one claims no doubts about his actions, others at the table can read that the man has played a bad hand poorly, and is about to lose his stack of chips.

  147. Dianne Feinstein stated today that there is not one thing in the dossier that has been unproven...that is a remarkable statement given that it has been under FBI and IC scrutiny for 15 months and she would have had access to any and all information.

  148. This argument would feel less petulant if the author had used President Trump or even Donald Trump instead of using "Mr. Trump" throughout the entire op-ed. As for the suggestion that the criticism of Buzzfeed has faded because the dossier was supposedly corroborated, perhaps the fact that a year has passed has something more to do with it.

  149. Our founding fathers specifically eliminated titles of nobility. Mr. Trump is fine, he's the President and therefore our servant, not our ruler. The rest of our elected officials should start to remember that/

  150. Mr. or President are both acceptable for referring to a sitting President. I dont think his tone was petulant.

  151. We should all be thankful for courageous journalism like Buzzfeeds. As for Mr. Steel; "Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. The toughest Burmese bandit can never understand it. In Rangoon the heat of noon is just what the natives shun. They put their scotch or rye down, and lie down. In the jungle town where the sun beats down, to the rage of man or beast, The English garb of the English sahib merely gets a bit more creased. In Bangkok, at twelve o'clock, they foam at the mouth and run, But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun." I am proud to have such a steadfast ally.

  152. Trump is still stuck on his "no collusion" mantra. But thanks to investigations by the intelligence community that considered this dossier along with other sources, the refrain coming from Trump and his amen chorus will soon be "collusion is not a crime."

  153. Search for the money trail to find the motives. Such as but not limited to: 1) money laundrying for real estates bad deals when no banks wanted lending Trump. 2) promises for Trump to develop in Russia. In exchange for a run at the Presidency with some dirt to help candidacy for a chance to become President. And not the least, if elected and later caught, the possibility to pardon himself and others. Not bad of a deal for the Art of the Deal’s Dealer in Chief. Gamble had proven successful. History will now be watching what becomes of the USA moving forward.

  154. Thank you Diane Feinstein for making this deposition transcript available to all, and thank you NYT for publishing it. Just finished reading all of it. I found it enormously illuminating and incredibly convoluted overall. Don't let the length of it put you off. The overall picture it gives lets a lot of the pieces fall into place, even though noone involved is entirely innocent or impartial. But I think it gives a lot more weight to the speculation that Trump's long term connection to organized crime figures points to his long term involvement in criminal money laundering with Russians in particular. In for a penny, in for a pound, why not see if you can become President of the U.S. by whatever means? Trump is no patriot. And the Republicans, I have no words for what they are.

  155. ....except for the part that it's built on lies, GMR. But hey, as long as it defames the President, so be it, right? The end justifies any means, right? Thank you for helping to ensure the reelection of President Trump in a few years. You will have plenty of time to continue with the Great Snowflake Rebellion of 2016...and beyond! Don't ever change.

  156. Feinstein would have more of a transparent leg to stand on if she didnt protect GPS by redacting names in the transcript. I'm guessing GPS sent her the redacted version for release. Hopefully Grassley, simply releases the full version, names and all.

  157. Too bad you're ignoring that when questioned, Steele admitted that he doesn't know if what he compiled is true. That it is all just word of mouth and possibly just rumors. So, take it for what it is, and what everything else to date has been... uncorroborated hearsay. It's a sad day for journalism when facts no longer matter, corroboration and verification are tossed out the window, and personal biases guide a story as opposed to the truth. Proof of all of this is repeated and playing out with Wolff's book as well. An author who has been discredited not once, not twice, but three prior times all of a sudden writes another book that just gives the left the blood it craves and slowly but surely Wolff is having to admit that he didn't interview any cabinets members or even Trump himself. More hearsay.

  158. First of all the "dossier," as such is not really a dossier but a collection of memos that amounted to raw intelligence. Raw intelligence, as the name implies, is never 100% accurate. But, despite head-in-the-sand Trump defenders like Richard Luettgen who discount all of Steele's efforts, enough of the material was verified by other sources to interest the FBI. For that we should all be thankful. And those calling for a criminal investigation of Steele -- namely Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham -- should be prosecuted for obstruction of justice.

  159. Steve Bannon is reported to have called the meeting by Don Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort with Russian agents during the campaign treasonous. While that point of view has not been a matter for the courts yet, it is a reasonable avenue for investigators to pursue. Potentially treasonous activities such as colluding with foreign powers to subvert our election process do not deserve secrecy. We were, in hindsight, well served by this decision to publish and having a wide ranging free press. It moved the inquiry forward. Knowing what is in the dossier also helps us see that Senators Grassley and Graham are no longer serving their nation, but only their party and power.

  160. Shouldn't we be mindful of who paid for this opposition research? It would appear that the Democrats got what they paid for.

  161. Opposition research is standard. This operation was begun by a right wing newspaper and, as I recall, also taken up by one or more of Trump's primary opponents. Democrats took it up after Trump won the primary and likely directed Russia connections get some attention. Steele - a well respected former British spy was hired for his expertise. He became concerned enough that he - independently - contacted the FBI. I grant the Democrats got what they paid for. They didn't get it in time to keep Trump, with Russian interference, from winning the election. But it appears more and more, they got what they paid for because there was a motherlode to be mined.

  162. We Iowans have known that about Grassley for years.

  163. No one trusts the republicans to follow the rule of law. So things need to be leaked or released to the public so that the people can see what the republicans are doing. I'll bet they hate that when that happens.

  164. I'm confused and can't believe anything anymore. Even Comey said some things were "salacious and unverified." Just like Woff's book. Woff says he can't verify the truth of everything in the book. So why publish things that can't be verified? "Comey would not answer publically whether the FBI was able to confirm anything in the Steele dossier, but he did respond to several questions about it. And in one instance, Comey described some material in the dossier as "salacious and unverified."

  165. I would be careful with the word 'proud'. Trump and many on the right are very 'proud' of being, as they say, 'conservatives', 'patriots', and the like. Self-pride is never a good thing. I, as a citizen in a democracy, am proud of you and the NY TImes. I am proud that you help shed light on our common, political system. I want to see what is there, what is happening, what the Senators know (for, of course, they work for us). Trump, Russia, the German bank, etc. are part and parcel of our country's corruption. You think Jeff Bezos becoming the world's richest man isn't a part of this whole charade? It certainly is. We have help construct a system that rewards the rich with greater riches and power. A plutocracy, an oligarchy, whatever you want to call it: the few, fabulously rich are using the many, struggling and dependent. As the founding fathers might have said, 'Huzzah!' for publishing the dossier. And now, please help us construct a true, compassionate, democratic, healthy community of 330 million Americans.

  166. It is never in the best interest of the public for journalists to publish unsubstantiated, unproven allegations about a political figure. If you publish a document accusing every man in Congress of being an adulterer, you can't justify it later by saying it turned out one of them was. It's fake news unless there is proof when it's published. I'm not a Trump supporter, or defender, but I don't see how fake news is going to help the situation. What could have been helpful was made questionable by BuzzFeeds failure to complete their due diligence prior to publication.

  167. Knowledge is power. I know what I am going to do with my power come November. Thanks for publishing this material.

  168. I think we can stop worrying about the risk of normalizing the Trump presidency and focus entirely on surviving it, repairing the damage from it, and inoculating our body politic against future fevers of the same kind. Certainly we find that we can read about alleged presidential connections with a hostile foreign power or with organized crime and not be stunned, but merely concerned or even confirmed in our suspicions. The same is true of our coming to expect troglodytic tweets from the current President of the United States. The key word is "current". Donald Trump has made it clear that what is all too consistent with his personal norms is still an outrage against the norms of public life. Most people get that. Now, on to the tasks of survival, repair, and inoculation.

  169. Most people get that? What about FOX News, congressional Republicans and the 35%? These forces put Herr Trump in the White House, along with the Electoral College, extensive Republican gerrymandering and scattered voter suppression. A lot of things are going to have to change if the rest of us want to get out from under this lethal mix.

  170. IF we survive the Trump presidency and can start repairing the damage, one of the things we should work on is more access to better public education, and reduced cost of getting a college degree. One of the reasons that so many people are willing to blindly follow a man like Trump is that we have allowed our education system to be compromised, starting with attacks on public education, especially higher education degrees, in the 70s. We need to start teaching Civics in school again, and make sure that young people learn critical analysis skills.

  171. VOTE IN 2018!

  172. Additional insights are in the related book, "Collusion", by Luke Harding. It is an important read for all Americans. BTW I don't think that it is yet a proven fact that Trump has NOT had business deals with Russia... Either with the Government, or the Mafia, or the business sector. If he has, I expect Mr. Meuller will find out, and if it is criminal, he is going to prosecute to the full extent of the Law.

  173. Isn’t amazing?how the Republican donors are enamored with Trump. They are willing to crack the party between right wing and extremists right wing. Someone is right saying that every news should be published and let the people to discern what is right and wrong.

  174. If the DNC paid for the dossier don't they 'own' it? Once Fusion finished the work and was paid for it wouldn't the 'intellectual property' revert to the DNC and Fusion would have no 'right' to share the dossier with news organizations, the FBI or even senators? Could the DNC have orchestrated this whole thing?

  175. The answer to your “legal question” is “no”. Mr. Steele was a well-established independent contractor, not an employee. Here would have to have signed an explicit “work made for hire” with that phrase for the DNC to own the product of his work and all related material he collected. This is elementary intellectual property law that I know well as an author and publisher with hundreds of works, stretching back 35 years.

  176. Ya think! "Could the DNC have orchestrated this whole thing?"

  177. Unctuous defense of recklessness, without simultaneously seeking political power, is the vanishingly thin distinction between this statement and Trump's demagoguery.

  178. Something discussed in the Steele dossier that has received no media attention to my knowledge is the accusation that the Trump "team" passed information to Russian officials about Russian oligarchs and their families living in the US, as well as about their assets. This seems to me to be an incredibly serious allegation: that Trump employees, and perhaps family members, were in effect conducting espionage for a foreign power. Why is no attention given to this?

  179. What I note about the Simpson transcript is that Republican interviewers spent a lot of fruitless time trying to associate Simpson with Russian intelligence actors and seemed uninterested in the validity of the accounts. Absurdly so. They seemed already to be preparing the smear. That, and Steele's work was not as difficult as it seems in hindsight. Apparently there is almost a culture in Moscow of people who traffic in such. It was only later -- after the dossier's release -- and a former KGB director's killing -- that people started closing their mouths.

  180. Lights, camera, action! Should Trump & Co ever be brought to justice for its contemptuous attitude toward the rule of law and outraged (if ever comical) denials of the plain truth, BuzzFeed's courageous editors and journalists will figure in a major motion picture one day.

  181. The histrionic panic by the Republicans in congress to engage in their vociferous attack on Fusion GPS and Michael Steele substantiates the veracity of the Dossier. If it were false or "fake news" Trump would have nothing to worry about. But nothing of substance in the Dossier has been debunked, and Trump should start worrying big time. These GOPs are complicit in Trump's collusion with the Russians and the Russian's assault on our democracy. Some people say where's the proof that Trump is kowtowing to Putin? All you need to do is look at the sanctions the Senate passed 98-2 almost seven months ago. Trump has refused to act on them, just like Putin commands. There's your collusion.

  182. I agree with Buzzfeed. Every day it’s confirmed that we’re currently living in a time that will be a significant historical marker. And when future Americans wonder how we could have been so blind to an embezzling president, who was blackmailed by a foreign power, and who in turn blackmailed/threatened his own party to keep him in power - as we watchedhis party leaders either suddenly flip (Graham) or give up promising careers (Ryan, Flake, et al) - Buzzfeed’s action will be remembered as a sign that, yes, many Americans were paying attention and seriously worked at saving our country for future generations.

  183. Well, yes, it was good to know that the Trump campaign harbored traitors to the Republic. Now let's hope that they are removed from office because of the work of the press. But it looks as if many members of the GOP have little regard for the ideals they claim to uphold, and are instead attacking the press for bringing their perfidies to light.

  184. BuzFeed and Fusion GPs are the Washington Post of the Watergate era, a necessity for a healthy democracy.

  185. One thing is crystal clear, the Republicans have ensured Russia's success on their primary goal, “Russia’s goal all along has been to do damage to America and our leadership role in the world.” A reasonable and objective person can not or should not believe we are more widely respected internationally today than under previous government administrations, if it were not so serious, it would be laughable. When one travels internationally or has the good fortune to visit with international visitors here at home, it doesn't take long to learn what they think of our international posture, and that is to say, our current Republican lead government is the laughing stock of the world! Save a Republic, Remove a Republican.

  186. The dossier is a smoking gun that will be prima facie evidence against Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 election. Another time it was the Pentagon Papers and Daniel Ellsworth. Mueller’s thoroughness in fleshing out the dossier decides whether #45 stays or goes.

  187. Regardless, erring on the side of publishing vs. not publishing is like erring on the side of forgetting to count a couple strokes on the golf course...and justifying it.

  188. I have heard more than enough to justify throwing this President and his family - and for good measure Pence included, since I find it impossible to believe he knew absolutely nothing about all these insidious proceedings - in jail for treason. And if that doesn’t happen, then I am VERY impatient for our new Congress to start work on impeachment proceedings. The next President’s job will be saddled with Restoring America Again.

  189. People can spin anything any way that they want. I would be more concerned about things but I know that we have a truely independent council in RM and our FBI has a reputation to maintain. Leadership will lie and some to the point bordering on treason to protect thier power, but in the end, I believe that the truth will prevail. Lets just hope it does before we lose our Republic.

  190. I am so grateful for media like the New York Times, the Washington Post, Cable News Network, and even the tiny and fearless Palmer Report, for reporting the genuine and important news of the world. In so many other countries, this is not permitted. Freedom of the press, and free speech, is such a powerful eraser of false news. As has been said countless times, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

  191. None of the newspapers you cite report anything close to genuine and important news. They have all let their personal biases totally slant anything and everything printed in their papers. They are all just another arm of the Democrat National Committee. The advent of the internet has enable informed people to get the other side of the story.

  192. I still do not get why Putin and the Kremlin had such a desire to muck around in our elections given the fallout they could incur. I do not buy the supposition that they are trying to undermine our democracy as “the” reason. The Kremlin wanted something specific for getting Trump elected, and it wasn’t for grins and giggles in messing with the elections, and it wasn’t to mess around with democracy. No, the Russians wanted Trump to deliver something quite specific to them, but what? Trump was worth the risk for Putin. So, what does Putin want from Trump, and how did Putin know Trump would deliver it? Putin would not have interfered unless he stood to get something massive from Trump as President. So, what does Putin want, and what does he have on Trump?

  193. The controversy about the dossier is a red herring in this crime story. While we all debate whether it's one hundred percent accurate or should have been released, we now know that the FBI was investigating collusion and corruption of a campaign team with a foreign agent before it even knew the dossier existed. The real question then becomes, as Mr. Smith states, do Americans really want "less insight into the forces at play in America." Everything else is mute.

  194. There are valid points on both sides. The public having access to the contents of the dossier, warts and all, does seem to serve the goals of transparency and freedom of information. Many who had reservations about its release do feel differently now, a year later, since over time the dossier has been a key factor in the bigger picture of unraveling the truth about Trump and his campaign. It is definitely not fake news. Yet, salacious details about consensual acts gratuitously released by one's political opponents are dirty politics. Here's the difference though, in my book. If, hypothetically, such a dossier had existed on recent GOP presidential candidates John McCain or Mitt Romney, their overall behavior and adherence to rules of basic decency during their campaigns might have earned them a redaction of unvetted salacious info. But Trump had no qualms about ignoring such decency norms and he would say absolutely anything to smear opponents: the heinous birther lie, tales about the father of Ted Cruz, parading Bill Clinton's accusers around at a debate, boasting on tape about molesting women, etc. The Russians possibly having the means by which to blackmail the president is a legitimate national concern. Trump's effusive praise of Putin during the campaign, the GOP's last minute pro-Russian changes to their platform and early inklings of what became an avalanche of confirmed meetings between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives seem to earn Buzzfeed a pass.

  195. I prefer reality and facts to fantasies. Truth is not a relative notion. So from now on, one's impressions and feelings will supersede events. I am appalled at the number of comments based on fiction and wishful thinking. Any concerned citizen would see that the present narrative is to condemn and believe fallacies rather than see that what was printed was innuendos and false information. It seems that all we need now are allegations. That is enough to conclude and condemn. It is the "air du temps". It's ok, as long as you are not subject to automatic condemnation. I choose to wait and see what comes out of this redux fake storm.

  196. Well said: live by the sword die by the sword.

  197. Trump joked on tape years ago, before he was running for president. The rest of this is pretty much on the mark though/

  198. As a civil and criminal rights attorney and former prosecutor I was not surprised by the outrage over the Trump-Russian Dossier. People itching to lock up a barefoot homeless man for shoplifting a pair of shoes in the dead of winter are usually the first to rush and protect a dangerous criminal with connections to organized crime and powerful politicians. I went after a member of law enforcement who everyone knew was corrupt and had been brutalizing low-income citizens for decades. He had suffered no consequences even though he beat up a pregnant woman. A report known to exist detailing his crimes was impossible to locate. It wasn't logged anywhere and the hard file was missing. The report was prepared by another member of law enforcement. He knew the danger, yet wrote the report anyway. He'd personally witnessed the assault on the pregnant women. It was leaked to me over 5 years after being written and ultimately lead to that brutal and corrupt individual losing his job. When I heard people complain about the Trump-Russia Dossier, I thought: "Grow up. This is how you catch a powerful and dangerous criminal with powerful friends protecting him." Just as the crimes of the person I pursued were well known, Trump's criminal connections to Russia and Russian organized crime were well know too. It's why in 2011 Trump refunded 90 percent of $3.16 million in deposits for the Trump SoHo. He was guilty of fraud, having received his financing from Russia and convicted Russian felons.

  199. Sunlight / transparency treats many political illnesses.

  200. Too bad the press didn't apply the same "sunlight" to the Obama administration.

  201. The publication of the Russia dossier reported by Steele and others was a signal favor to the USA. It also is a signal that the Trump administration, indeed the entire GOP establishment, have been devoured by the termites of complacency and corruption. Once a critical mass of people has looked up from their tiny screens and thought about this issue for a few minutes, there may even be some support for the Special Prosecutor Mueller and perhaps some action.

  202. I find it therapeutic to imagine what archive footage of Trump's presidency will look like in 20 years time. Imagine film footage 20 years from now comparing this clown with FDR, Eisenhower, JFK, and Reagan. Or any other president. It's not difficult to imagine. Even without the benefit of hindsight.

  203. One of issues raised is how is Trump remained solvent with all of bankruptcies and failed business ventures. This is one of the issues that Fusion GPS has raised and needs to be explored to know who has control of the Trump's.

  204. it's important to keep in mind that the intent of the Russians to help Trump is enough to damage Trump and the US. Collusion by Trump or his staff is irrelevant. Trump is damaged simply by the fact that Putin wanted him to be President, and that alone would make him vulnerable to Russian attempts to manipulate policy down the road - as we have seen. Steele apparently recognized this and the fact that the Russians were clearly helping Trump was sufficiently damaging to US interests to justify alerting the FBI to the situation. Getting it into the public eye also reduces the opportunities for Russian meddling to some extent. Well done Steele, and well done BuzzFeed.

  205. I'm glad you did too. We are living in a country with a corrupt government with cover ups and lawsuits to prevent us from learning the truth. Thank you!

  206. In this day and age, I'm not sure if "the truth will set us free".

  207. Democracy depends on an informed electorate. While I adhere to journalistic policies regarding the publishing of truly erroneous information, the dossier clearly had sufficient factual information to publish. The document has been relied upon by the FBI as prima facie evidence to advance a formal investigation. I applaud Buzzfeed for their decision to Informa Americans of this assault on our electoral process. I sincerely hope this landmark decision to publish will motivate other mainstream media that the times they are a -changin’ and normal isn’t normal any longer. Fake news is the new tradition with the lies and deception of Trump and they must seek truth at any costs. Even if it offends older journalistic norms.

  208. What portion of the "dossier" is clearly factual? The guy who wrote it, Christopher Steele, "believes his dossier is [only] 70-90% correct". You can read about it in The Guardian, Wed 15 Nov '17 11:52 EST.

  209. "Even if it offends older journalistic norms." Such as corroborating accusations? Wow.

  210. The great irony is that "conservatives" who have scared themselves to death over the prospect of "world government" and "black helicopters" have turned our government over to an international oligarchy headed by Vladimir Putin, the world's richest man. Thus, Putin is throwing in with the Koch Bros., Sheldon Adelson and other plutocrats who helped install their puppet, President Goldfinger. Does anyone really doubt that Putin pushed Brexit over the top or that he is systematically disassembling our foreign relations and alliances? You don't have to be James Bond to see the obvious pattern. Americans are divided into two camps: Those who are shocked at how powerless they are in our so-called democracy and those who think the puppet master is on their side.

  211. The Democrats are accusing the Trump campaign of collusion while they themselves are implicated in paying for opposition research from foreign nations involving both Fusion GPS and Ukraine. In fact the only evidence I've seen of quid pro quo involving Russia at this point is payments to the Clinton Foundation at the time the Hillary State Dept. was approving Uranium One or Bubba receiving $500K for his speech in Moscow. Manafort is being charged with tax evasion from 2013 while Flynn coerced into a guilty plea for lying about a conversation after the election about fighting ISIS. Really guys? This whole made up controversy is so riddled with bias, hypocrisy and dubious claims of legality it's difficult to know where to begin. But the truth is it isn't illegal to use foreign opposition research in a political campaign so long as that information was public. Unethical perhaps, but there is nothing illegal in doing so and thus far they have provided no evidence that anyone in the Trump campaign had any involvement in the DNC hack. Many on the left also forget that Obama was mocking Mitt Romney's assertions that Russia was our "Greatest Geo-Political" enemy as recently as the 2012 election. There are many of us who sincerely believe that a belligerent posture towards Russia is harmful and that the U.S is often supporting the wrong side in these proxy conflicts with them. And we should not be attempting to criminalize political differences based on those policy differences.

  212. You can take the blinders off any time now.

  213. Truth and transparency are the existential enemies of Donald Trump. The fact that Trump and his defenders are so outraged and defensive regarding the dossier information indicates to me that the information is substantially factual. The truth will be known. It is inevitable.

  214. The most likely explanation is that Steele was played for a fool by Russian intelligence, who fed him misinformation to discredit Trump much as they seem to have worked to discredit Clinton. The idea that Mr. Steele has sources inside the Kremlin risking their lives to treasonously share state secrets with him is laughable. In all likelihood, upon being contacted they would have simply asked the FSB what information to pass along. Whether Steele was vain and naive enough to believe he actually had access to Kremlin secrets or simply shameless enough to deliver what his client wanted for the right price is hard to know. But in any case, this means that Trump’s Republican opponents and later the Clinton campaign who financed the report thinking they were hiring James Bond instead not merely disseminated FSB propaganda, but--humiliatingly--actually paid for the privilege! It doesn’t bother me that Mr. Smith published this, but a naïve pawn should at least spare us the self-aggrandizement. It doesn’t bother me either that the Russians, presented with this “golden” opportunity, had some fun with it. One has to give them credit for the outrageousness and humor of what they came up. Clearly they appreciated that doing further damage to Trump’s reputation was no small task. After all, there is something deeply absurd about the assumption behind the dossier that the Russian government is aware of compromising information about Donald Trump. For god's sake, who isn’t?

  215. Except, you know, that important parts of the dossier have been confirmed. So there is that.

  216. Well said! When you publish something that many don’t want to believe - they often scream and yell to drown out what they don’t want to hear. As parents often say to children - it’s easier to be mad than sad. And the millions of Americans who fell for the Trump con will go from mad to sad - only then will they thank you for shedding light on these dark tales. Thank you for being on the side of light and truth.

  217. All this does not justify publishing passages on an unverified (and probably unverifiable) encounter with prostitutes. Let's remember that this dossier was compiled by a professional deceiver (= spy) based on interviews with unnamed sources, many of which are also professional deceivers. All these people by definition had hidden agendas - it's not like you leave the intelligence community and suddenly just become an independent curious citizen-detective. If BuzzFeed had stuck to the political and potentially verifiable (or falsifiable) elements of the dossier, the decision to publish would arguably be justifiable. But not that prostitute encounter. BTW, in the UK, publishing that would have lead to a conviction for libel.

  218. I’m extremely concerned by reports today that Russian sources who risked their lives talking to Steele were murdered after their identities were made public when Buzzfeed published the dossier. Of course I’m glad we have the information in the dossier, but it wasn’t necessary for Buzzfeed to put sources’ lives at risk. I think Buzzfeed acted irresponsibly and opportunistically when they published the dossier — they wanted the hits and publicity and didn’t care whom they exposed. In fact, even the timing of this opinion piece is suspicious — it was published on the day we learned at least one of Steele’s sources was murdered. That’s low, Buzzfeed.

  219. That's a pile of lies, gussied up to look like concern, "A." One source died, and there is no indication that it was murder other than from people trying to discredit the dossier.

  220. I we suppress the truth every time Russia threatens to kill someone or out of fear that they might do that later, we would never get the truth any more. Russia is ruthless and kills its enemies on a regular basis. BuzzFeed was courageous and performed a huge public service in releasing the report.

  221. Uh, you may not have noticed, but this opinion piece is published in The New York Times. So, if you have a beef, the beef is with The Times. If you had read the "dossier", you would know that no sources were revealed. In fact, it is questionable if sources were actually used to compile the "dossier". Steele himself "believes his dossier on Trump-Russia is [only] 70-90% correct".

  222. Note that despite the fact that the Clinton campaign partially funded Steele for this work, they never used the information in the campaign itself to try to publicly embarrass Trump. The Russian collusion was barely mentioned in the campaign (other than calling Trump Putin's puppet) and the Obama admin did not act openly on it during the campaign. If anything, the Dems were overly cautious.

  223. The article provides clear insight into a primary advantage Trump has over Congress and others of the Government. This is the likely reason he gets away with so much: "Mr. Steele also reported [......] “the Kremlin had been feeding Trump and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.” The Russians have fed TrumpCo all sorts of damaging information about his critics and adversaries, or for that matter, his allies. Trump holds this "kompromat" over his rivals and with this, along with his wacky base (also a Russian construct), he possess much power over many in Congress and elsewhere. This is the J Edgar Hoover technique that the Russians perfected back in the day and never stopped using. It is straight out of the Gangster Playbook. Why in the world would the Russians stop providing Trump with this sort of dirt now? Trump is using this to his advantage, which the Russians see as their advantage too.

  224. In many other countries with principled and accountable democratic governments, the mere appearance of impropriety, treason, criminality, dishonesty, corruption or malfeasance from high ranking politicians is sufficient to lead to their downfall because of the fear public backlash. US exceptionalism at work ?

  225. The problem is, there has been a public backlash, but it has done no good. Short of riots in the street, I’m not sure what has to happen to get to the apparent financial corruption that this man has been involved in. If he’s not guilty of anything why is he fighting so hard to limit access to any information concerning his personal activity before taking the Oath of Office?

  226. While not a fan of Trump, this whole Russian collusion and hacking story has been a total red herring. It's been over a year now and not one shred of evidence has been produced and displayed for the the public to see by our intelligence services. They keep saying there is collusion and Russian interference, but not any evidence has been shown. Why? Even Flynn's confession of lying to the FBI was a disappointment given his involvement with the Turkish government, a far serious crime. In my opinion, the real story is Trump's financial dealings with the Russian oligarchs and Russian mob and money laundering via his properties in the Trump organization. That is where Muller, a white-collar crime expert, will find a trove of corruption. Follow the money. And while we are investigating (the media's attention span is similar to that of a cat and a laser pointer) let's not forget the corruption of the Clinton Foundation, Teneo, Doug Band, Bill and Hillary Clinton's quid pro quo for access to her as Secretary of State from foreign countries and corporations.

  227. The wheels of justice turn slowly. The evidence will come out in due course.

  228. The key to your complaint is "evidence produced and displayed to the public." With the GOP-led investigations in Congress basically a sham to protect Trump, we have to wait for Mueller to produce and display, something he won't do until the end of the investigation. In the meantime, lets contemplate that four very close Trump campaign associates have already been indicted.

  229. Let’s keep the herrings - red or blue - in their own jars, please.