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How Big Of a “Hoax” Is That “Dirty Dossier”?

Summary:
How Big Of a “Hoax” Is That “Dirty Dossier”?  In the wake of the Atlantic story by Jeffrey Goldberg about President Trump reportedly referring to the dead Americans lying in the Aisne-Marne Cemetery near Paris as “losers”  and “suckers,” along with a lot of other embarrassing things for him, Trump has called Goldberg a “slimeball” and that that this report is another “hoax” like “the dirty dossier” of Steele, along with “Russia, Russia, Russia” also being a “hoax,” of course, despite the recent bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report further verifying that there was even more Russian interference in the 2016 election than the Mueller Report verified (105 meetings between Trump campaign officials and various Russians, with several of those officials

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How Big Of a “Hoax” Is That “Dirty Dossier”?

 In the wake of the Atlantic story by Jeffrey Goldberg about President Trump reportedly referring to the dead Americans lying in the Aisne-Marne Cemetery near Paris as “losers”  and “suckers,” along with a lot of other embarrassing things for him, Trump has called Goldberg a “slimeball” and that that this report is another “hoax” like “the dirty dossier” of Steele, along with “Russia, Russia, Russia” also being a “hoax,” of course, despite the recent bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report further verifying that there was even more Russian interference in the 2016 election than the Mueller Report verified (105 meetings between Trump campaign officials and various Russians, with several of those officials then lying under oath about their contacts).

Of course, Trump is on tape calling the late John McCain a “loser” because he was captured by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. I thought when he said that it would be the end of this then primary campaign, but it barely budged him a notch, the first sign of how he could get away with outrageous statements and actions that would do in other politicians.  But his base viewed McCain as a “RINO” traitor to their cause, so it was OK to diss him hard.  But now this new report is hitting Trump hard, especially given the widespread reporting of polls showing active military members supporting Biden over him and reports of retired Marines who has Trump signs in their yards throwing them in the garbage. The dead at Aisne-Marne did not run against Trump in a primary or contest for control of the Republican Party.  They died in a crucial battle that stopped the final German effort to conquer  Paris in the WW I.

So Russia was not a hoax, but what about that infamous Steele dossier?  Of course for those who get all their news from Fox, where Trump is also having a problem with their national security reporter supporting some of the Goldberg article, referring to the Steele dossier as “dirty” is a regular button to push to make the faithful sit up and bark their support.  It is like “Benghazi,” something pounded on so often the faithful are fully indoctrinated that there is something there. About every other night Hannity reminds the suckers that it “has been completely discredited” and “was bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton.”

Regarding “being discredited,” this has not happened despite various GOP congress people repeating this line endlessly in various hearings.  Indeed, well over 70% of it has been verified.  Most of it is true.  It accurately reported on some of the activities of Trump associates later reported on in the Mueller Report and now the Senate Intelligence Report. But, of course, that some of that material appeared in the “dirty dossier” is supposed to be why we are not supposed to accept either of those reports.

As it is, a few items in it have been disproven.  Curiously most of those had to do with Carter Page, exaggerated claims that he was going to get a big payment from Gazprom, although he did in fact meet with their officials as reported in the dossier.  The FBI investigation of Page is indeed the one place where all the hysterical Trumpist conspiracy theorists have something: there were inaccuracies in one of the petitions for renewal of the  FISA application for the FBI to investigate Page, who had been investigated in the past for his activities with Russians.  The biggest blooper, not due to the dossier, was the failure of the FBI to note that Page had been used as a CIA informant, and one low level FBI official has been indicted for this Clinesmith, probably the only person who will be indicted, even though Hannity keeps calling for John Durham to come forth with his report and indictments of all the Obama/Biden people who were “spying on the Trump campaign,” something that Trump himself has called “treason.”  Barr has made it clear he will dump whatever there is onto us in in October, but as of now it looks like this Clinesmith messing with the FISA app is about all there is. In any case, the Page investigation was a bust and it was briefly supported by some erroneous material in the Steele dossier, but this does not amount to much.

There are other items in the dossier which the truth or falsity of remain unestablished.  The most notorious one is the item that caught initial attention when the dossier was first publicly revealed, the “pee tape” claim about Trump and some prostitutes. This was considered outrageous, but given that we have since learned that Trump has paid off prostitutes to keep quiet, this no longer seems like much of a big deal, and indeed there are apparently a number of observers who claim it probably happened.  So the item that makes the dossier “dirty” is probably true, but now who cares? and it does remain unverified.  But the bottom line remains that over 70% of it has been verified.  The claims that it has been “discredited” are simply false. But what is another lie coming out of Trump anyway?

On the matter of being “bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton,” there is some truth to that.  The initial investigation of the possible Trump/Russia connection was initiated by the Jeb Bush primary campaign.  When he withdrew it did eventually come to funded by the DNC and the Clinton campaign.  But, in the end, this becomes a so what?  That in and of itself does not prove that what was reported in the dossier is false. And, indeed, a solid majority of what is in it has been verified, and the fundamental claim that the Trump campaign was operating in a cooperative manner, whatever wording one wants to use, has also clearly been established.  The “dirty dossier” is not a hoax, and “Russia, Russia, Russia” is also not a hoax, with them openly at it again for 2020, with Trump’s flunky DNI Chief now refusing to testify before Congress on the matter, and specific allegations of such interference being made, such as Russians being behind a lot of the social media accounts of Biden supposedly suffering from dementia, poor “sleepy Joe,” which increasingly looks to be just totally fake news.

So, sorry, Mr. Trump, this line of argument does not remotely get you off the hook for having called US war dead “losers” and “suckers.”

Barkley Rosser

Barkley Rosser
I remember how loud it was. I was a young Economics undergraduate, and most professors didn’t really slam points home the way Dr. Rosser did. He would bang on the table and throw things around the classroom. Not for the faint of heart, but he definitely kept my attention and made me smile. It is hard to not smile around J. Barkley Rosser, especially when he gets going on economic theory. The passion comes through and encourages you to come along with it in a truly contagious way. After meeting him, it is as if you can just tell that anybody who knows that much and has that much to say deserves your attention.

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