The chiefs of U.S. intelligence agencies last week presented President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump with a summary of unsubstantiated reports that Russia had collected compromising and salacious personal information about Trump, two officials with knowledge of the briefing said.Unsubstantiated, and its kissing cousin not corroborated, means the Times is simply retailing whatever bullshit someone opposed to Trump wanted out there. My favorite bit of nonsense is this:
The summary is based on memos generated by political operatives seeking to derail Trump’s candidacy. Details of the reports began circulating in the fall and were widely known among journalists and politicians in Washington.
The two-page summary, first reported by CNN, was presented as an appendix to the intelligence agencies’ report on Russian hacking efforts during the election, the officials said. The material was not corroborated, and The New York Times has not been able to confirm the claims.
The memos describe sex videos involving prostitutes with Trump in a 2013 visit to a Moscow hotel. The videos were supposedly prepared as “kompromat,” or compromising material, with the possible goal of blackmailing Trump in the future.That's a bit more delicate than retellings of the story you can find elsewhere -- the preposterous suggestion that Trump hired prostitutes to urinate on the bed in the presidential suite at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, the same place where Obama had supposedly stayed when he had been there earlier. We are also told that the Russians have the entire hotel bugged, so that's how we know it's true.
Okay, so let's think about that -- if the Russians had the entire hotel bugged, what are the chances that Obama would have stayed there? Do you not think the Secret Service and the various operatives who travel with the president would have allowed that to happen? Seriously? Or did the Russians pull the bugs out and then put them back in?
Another story has already taken on water:
Michael Cohen, a lawyer and adviser to Trump, also went to Twitter to deny a specific claim in the opposition research involving him. One of the memos claims that Cohen went to Prague in August or September to meet with Kremlin representatives and to talk about Russian hacking of Democrats.
Cohen tweeted Tuesday night: “I have never been to Prague in my life. #fakenews.”It would be easy to substantiate whether Cohen had been to Prague. The Times didn't do it, nor has anyone else. The Atlantic did find out where Cohen actually was:
Cohen said that during the time the report places him in Prague, he was actually with his son visiting USC and meeting with the baseball coach. A USC baseball source confirmed Tuesday night that Cohen and his son had visited USC on August 29th. Cohen said that he was in Los Angeles from the 23rd through the 29th of August, and that the rest of the month he was in New York. He said that his only trip to an EU country over the summer had been a vacation to Italy in July.I suppose the USC baseball coach could be a Russian operative -- in a world where MSM publications retail any damn thing, it's possible. But we're in bizarro cloud cuckoo land here.
Cohen also tweeted a photo of his passport: “I have never been to Prague in my life. #fakenews.” Trump retweeted Cohen’s tweet.
In the end, this is all good news for Le Grand Orange. Now that it's been established that the MSM will publish anything, you can safely assume that whatever credibility they had has now been urinated away. And that's a problem for all of us -- we need an honest watchdog to keep our government accountable. We haven't had one for a long time now.
Update (9:30 a.m.): Res ipsa loquitur:
|Other than that, it's great reporting|
When asked for further comment, Tapper said the following:
|Forget it Jake — it's MSMtown|