Fake news needs “laundering” for it to gain legs.
The Obama birther story was first started by Hillary Clinton’s supporters when she was standing against him in the Democratic primaries in 2008. It then took on a life of its own.
Now it seems the fake and scurrilous report about Donald Trump may have been commissioned from a former British intelligence officer as part of Jeb Bush’s efforts during the Republican primaries. To make it even more intriguing it may be that the fake report was passed through John McCain to the FBI – a sort of “laundering” of fake news to give it a semblance of authority. Whether McCain did it knowingly or was duped into the laundering exercise is unknown.
Of course CNN then played their part in “laundering” the fake news though that involvement is very likely intentional.
Christopher Steele, who wrote reports on compromising material Russian operatives allegedly had collected on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, is a former officer in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, according to people familiar with his career.
Former British intelligence officials said Steele spent years under diplomatic cover working for the agency, also known as MI-6, in Russia and Paris and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. After he left the spy service, Steele supplied the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with information on corruption at FIFA, international soccer’s governing body. It was his work on corruption in international soccer that lent credence to his reporting on Trump’s entanglements in Russia, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. ……
……. Steele was initially hired by FusionGPS, a Washington, DC-based political research firm, to investigate Trump on behalf of unidentified Republicans who wanted to stop Trump’s bid for the GOP nomination. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that Steele was initially hired by Jeb Bush, one of Trump’s 16 opponents in the 2016 Republican primary. It was not immediately possible to verify the BBC’s report. ……
He was kept on assignment by FusionGPS after Trump won the nomination and his information was circulated to Democratic Party figures and members of the media.
Steele’s dealings with the FBI on Trump, initially with the senior agent who had started the FIFA probe and then moved to a post in Europe, began in July. However, Steele cut off contact with the FBI about a month before the Nov. 8 election because he was frustrated by the bureau’s slow progress.
And then we have McCain’s involvement.
Wednesday on CNN addressing media reports that he had turned over a dossier containing unverified claims about Russia and President-elect Donald Trump, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said, “I don’t know if it’s credible or not but I thought the information deserved to be delivered to the FBI, the appropriate agency of government.”
Partial transcript as follows:
MCCAIN: After looking at that information I took it to the FBI and have had no further involvement with it at issue. By the way, according to some media reports they already had that information, but I didn’t know that at the time. I did what any citizen would do, received sensitive information and then handed it over to the proper government agency and had nothing else to do with it.
Very commendable on the face of it but unlikely to be as innocent as all that.