After nearly a year of cogitating, no one in the media, usually a fairly leaky institution, has been able to figure out who exactly who provided the infamous “Trump Dossier” to BuzzFeed which was published on January 10, 2017 and promptly debunked within approximately 35 seconds.
As the Daily Caller points out today, less than a handful of people had access to the dossier before it made its way to BuzzFeed: John McCain, David Kramer (a former State Department official and an associate of McCain), then FBI Director James Comey and Fusion GPS (the creator of the document). Fusion GPS has since admitted under oath that they did not share the document with BuzzFeed which basically just leaves John McCain (and/or his associate) or James Comey.
Asked about the dossier recently, an irritable, and perhaps defensive, McCain lashed out at a Daily Caller reporter (seemingly a new trend for McCain of late) saying only “I don’t know why you’re digging this up now.”
In addition to McCain and Steele, opposition research firm Fusion GPS had the dossier, as did David J. Kramer, a former State Department official and an associate of McCdoain’s.
One person who was provided a copy of the salacious document, written by former British spy Christopher Steele, is Arizona Sen. John McCain. But McCain, who has already acknowledged providing an early version of the dossier to former FBI Director James Comey, denied this week that he also gave a version to BuzzFeed, which published it on Jan. 10.
“I gave it to no one except for the director of the FBI. I don’t know why you’re digging this up now,” McCain said during a testy exchange with The Daily Caller on Wednesday.
McCain was asked whether he was BuzzFeed’s source after the Republican’s office declined to answer direct questions on the matter.
As a reminder, here is a recap of the timeline leading up the dossier’s BuzzFeed debut.
McCain and Kramer, a former official at the McCain Institute, were first told about the dossier in November, during a conversation with Sir Andrew Wood, a former British spy and associate of Steele’s. McCain then dispatched Kramer to meet with Steele in London on Nov. 28.
Steele, who operates Orbis Business Intelligence in London, has revealed in the London lawsuit that he allowed Kramer to view the dossier but did not provide him a copy. He said that an “arrangement” was later made for Fusion to provide a copy of the dossier to McCain through Kramer.
McCain then provided a copy of the document to Comey during a Dec. 9 meeting.
Four days after McCain met with Comey, Steele would produce the final memo of the dossier, the one that was provided to BuzzFeed and which included the allegations against Gubarev.
Steele sent the final memo to Fusion with instructions to pass a hard-copy to Kramer and McCain. It is unclear how the dossier was disseminated after that. Fusion has not said whether it disseminated the final version of the dossier to anyone outside the company.
The denials by Steele, Fusion and McCain that they were BuzzFeed’s sources leaves just a few posibilities, including Kramer.
Kramer has not responded to multiple requests for comment about his handling of the dossier or whether he gave it to any news outlets. He has not talked on the record to any reporters since being identified in the controversy.
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