The Steele Dossier or the Hitler Diaries Mark II 255

The mainstream media’s extreme enthusiasm for the Hitler Diaries shows their rush to embrace any forgery if it is big and astonishing enough. For the Guardian to lead with such an obvious forgery as the Trump “commercial intelligence reports” is the final evidence of the demise of that newspaper’s journalistic values.

We are now told that the reports were written by Mr Christopher Steele, an ex-MI6 man, for Orbis Business Intelligence. Here are a short list of six impossible things we are asked to believe before breakfast:

1) Vladimir Putin had a five year (later stated as eight year) plan to run Donald Trump as a “Manchurian candidate” for President and Trump was an active and knowing partner in Putin’s scheme.
2) Hillary Clinton is so stupid and unaware that she held compromising conversations over telephone lines whilst in Russia itself.
3) Trump’s lawyer/adviser Mr Cohen was so stupid he held meetings in Prague with the hacker/groups themselves in person to arrange payment, along with senior officials of the Russian security services. The NSA, CIA and FBI are so incompetent they did not monitor this meeting, and somehow the NSA failed to pick up on the electronic and telephone communications involved in organising it. Therefore Mr Cohen was never questioned over this alleged and improbable serious criminal activity.
4) A private company had minute by minute intelligence on the Manchurian Candidate scheme and all the indictable illegal activity that was going on, which the CIA/NSA/GCHQ/MI6 did not have, despite their specific tasking and enormous technical, staff and financial resources amounting between them to over 150,000 staff and the availability of hundreds of billons of dollars to do nothing but this.
5) A private western company is able to run a state level intelligence operation in Russia for years, continually interviewing senior security sources and people personally close to Putin, without being caught by the Russian security services – despite the fact the latter are brilliant enough to install a Manchurian candidate as President of the USA. This private western company can for example secretly interview staff in top Moscow hotels – which they themselves say are Russian security service controlled – without the staff being too scared to speak to them or ending up dead. They can continually pump Putin’s friends for information and get it.
6) Donald Trump’s real interest is his vast financial commitment in China, and he has little investment in Russia, according to the reports. Yet he spent the entire election campaign advocating closer ties with Russia and demonising and antagonising China.

Michael Cohen has now stated he has never been to Prague in his life. If that is true the extremely weak credibility of the entire forgery collapses in total. What is more, contrary to the claims of the Guardian and Washington Post that the material is “unverifiable”, the veracity of it could be tested extremely easily by the most basic journalism, ie asking Mr Cohen who has produced his passport. The editors of the Washington Post and the Guardian are guilty of pushing as blazing front page news the most blatant forgery to serve their own political ends, without carrying out the absolutely basic journalistic checks which would easily prove the forgery. Those editors must resign.

The Guardian has published a hagiography in which it clarifies he cannot travel to Russia himself and that he depends on second party contacts to interview third parties. It also confirms that much of the “information” is bought. Contacts who sell you information will of course invent the kind of thing you want to hear to increase their income. That was the fundamental problem with much of the intelligence on Iraqi WMD. Highly paid contacts, through also paid third parties, were inventing intelligence to sell.

There is of course an extra level of venial inaccuracy here because unlike an MI6 officer, Steele himself was then flogging the information for cash. Nobody in the mainstream media has asked the most important question of all. What was the charlatan Christopher Steele paid for this dossier?

As forgeries go, this is really not in the least convincing. It was very obviously not written seriatim on the dates stated but forged as a collection and with hindsight. I might add I do not include the golden showers among the impossible aspects. I have no idea if it is true and neither do I care. Given Trump’s wealth and history, I think we can say with confidence that he has indulged whatever his sexual preferences might be all over the world and not just in Russia. It seems most improbable he would succumb to blackmail over it and not brazen it out. I suppose it could be taken as the sole example of trickledown theory actually working.

255 thoughts on “The Steele Dossier or the Hitler Diaries Mark II

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  • Joyce Short

    If you wonder how the #GoldenShowers happened ??

  • fred

    Q. What’s the difference between a chickpea and a lentil?

    A. Donald Trump wouldn’t pay $500 to watch a lentil on his bed.

  • lysias

    Looks like a Hail Mary pass (term from American football) meant to prevent a Trump presidency.

  • Jan Sammer

    Only five of the items on your list are unbelievable. No. 2 is entirely plausible.

    Strangely the Buzzfeed report never mentions the date of the alleged scandalous occurrence at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton presidential suite, but based on a story in The Guardian published on 20 November 2016, it would have been at the time of the Moscow Miss Universe competition, specifically on 9 November 2013. The Guardian story of last November seems to be the hook on which the current allegations are hanging:

    “Still, Trump stayed in the five-star Ritz Carlton hotel during that Moscow trip and occupied the suite that had previously been used by Obama. The US media reported that the FSB may have videoed Trump inside the suite. There is no proof that any compromising video exists. But the FSB would certainly have been interested in this kind of stuff: this is, after all, what it does.”

    Obama+Michelle stayed in that suite on 6-8 July 2009, i.e., over four years previously, the only time they were in Moscow on an official visit.

    I have emailed the Ritz-Carlton Europe manager to confirm or deny Trump’s stay at their Moscow hotel’s presidential suite on the mentioned date. The allegation harms their reputation and it is in their interest to either reject the allegations or at least assure future guests that they did indeed change the mattress. 🙂

    Will let you know their reply, if any.

    • Jan Sammer

      The Ritz is keeping mum. Here is their reply:

      “Dear Jan,

      Thank you for your email and getting in touch.

      In line with our company standard to protect the privacy of our guests, we do not speak about any individual or group with whom we may have done business.

      All best,

      Alistair “

  • John Goss

    So funny. Nearly everything the spooks put out is a pack of lies. On the last thread in answer to a question from Lysias asking who this senior intelligence officer was. My suspicion was, and until I know for certain it is not is Luke Harding, fiction-writer for the Guardian, who when he is not plagiarising others, allegedly, he is making all kinds of anti-Russian stories to please our leaders.

    MI6, in fact all intelligence organisations, send ‘journalists’ as spies. Harding’s credentials fit the bill. He got kicked out of Russia, they told him, for writing shit, but it was probably because of his clumsy spying would be my speculation. Anyway he’s probably making something up now for tomorrow’s first edition.

    I could be wrong of course. 😀

  • harrylaw

    I can certainly believe Clinton is so stupid she could do 2 above. Unfortunately her husband got a raw deal over the Lewinsky affair, all that happened then was after a disagreeable meal in the White House, Bill told Monica to ‘sack my cook’ how was Bill to know Monica was hard of hearing?

  • MBC

    I don’t find it implausible that the Russians cultivated him over a period of years. He would have been a useful idiot whatever circumstances would have prevailed in future. They probably cultivate all sorts. All the time. Psi-ops.

  • Stu

    BBC News just led the lunchtime bulletin with this story emphasising the possibility of it being true rather than the probability of it being nonsense (which was barely considered even from the perspective of a malicious lie never mind a planned political move). We even had their Washington correspondent tell us that it would be illegal for the CIA to comment to him but that an intermediary had told him two videos existed. Staggering.

    As Craig says the likelihood that a private intelligence firm were able to put all this together while the combined intelligence services of NATO were ignorant of the greatest plot in modern history is nonsensical. It also defeats all common sense that the Russians were able to get enough of a grip over Trump on a short visit to Moscow to compel him to commit the greatest treason ever seen but the Bush family and the cohorts were unable to stop him slapping Jeb silly all over prime time TV and destroying their dynasty. Presumably Trump is much more careful when he is under the eye of the CIA and FBI.

    During the campaign there were ridiculous smears thrown at Trump that failed to stick. The Slate website published ridiculous claims about a computer server communicating with Russia and at one point there was due to be a press conference where a woman would claim he raped her aged 13. These claims (along with the memory that the FBI intervention was at least as big as Wikileaks) have disappeared. Now the vanquished seem to be throwing around any crazy claims they can before their influence ends next week. There are turbulent times ahead.

  • Sharp Ears

    Presumably, the Mark Allen of BP, referred to in Craig’s post, would be the same Sir Mark Allen who attended the Herzliya Conference in 2012.

    Oil @$250: The Herzliya Game Debrief 13:45-15:15 Arazi Aud.
    Mr. Yossie Hollander, Chairman, Israeli Institute for Economic Planning
    Sir Mark Allen, CMG, Senior Advisor for British Petroleum (BP); Senior Associate Member, St. Antony’s College, Oxford University
    Dr. Brenda Shaffer, School of Political Science, Haifa University
    Mr. Aad van Bohemen, Head, Emergency Policy Division, International Energy Agency
    Prof. ZHOU Dadi, Founding Director, Beijing Energy Efficiency Center (BECon), Energy Research Institute (ERI), National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China
    Mr. R. James Woolsey, Chairman, Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD); Fmr. Director of the Central Intelligence

    He appeared again in the discussion on

    Short-Term Scenarios for the Middle East
    The 2012 Herzliya Game: Oil @US$250 Saudi Arabia and GCC

    There is a Sir Michael Leigh there too. He is described as ‘Sir Michael Leigh, KCMG, Consultant and Senior Advisor, Transatlantic Center Brussels, German Marshall Fund of the United States,’

    A previous British attendee was the Chief of the General Staff – |Sir Charles Guthrie. He also has a position on the JNF as one of the Honorary Patrons

    apart from these interests.

    ‘Guthrie is a non-executive director of N M Rothschild & Sons, Gulf Keystone Petroleum, Ashley Gardens Block 2 Ltd, Colt Defense LLC, Sciens Capital and Petropavlovsk PLC and non-executive chairman of Siboney Ltd.[38] He is also a member of the Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation, established in October 2009.’,_Baron_Guthrie_of_Craigiebank

  • Manda

    PEOTUS may be under attack but we, US and western citizens, are definitely under sustained attack from our establishment media/established order. Is something big (change) going on behind the scenes that such saturation of mainly wild levels of distraction are required or is it just about the Trump threat, surely not? Something to draw almost everyone into the fray and be angry or indignant about being pumped out now and still 9 days to go to inauguration.

    I have a very bad and uneasy feeling this surreal frenzy isn’t just established order panic about Trump.

  • Rob

    I’ve just finished reading Graham Greene’s ‘Our Man in Havana’. Maybe they still do intelligence gathering the same way?

    • Jo

      @ Martinned

      I’ve posted my own views here so perhaps you’d call me a defender of Putin too.

      In fact, I’m more a defender of facts than anything else as I consider them really important especially in politics. Lies in politics, after all, can create wars and it’s never the politicians who pay the ultimate price as they’re never the ones doing the fighting and putting their lives on the line. I don’t. as many in the media and elsewhere do, look at the personalities involved in international disputes and then pick my version of the truth from there.

      The whole “West is best.” thing leaves me cold. I look at world events without being prepared to support lies. If it’s my own country who is peddling them then, actually, it makes me even madder than if it’s another country. After all, we keep hearing about “Western values”, don’t we? The clear message is that we are honest and that we possess integrity. I know that in places like the Middle East we have shown neither honesty or integrity in our dealings there. (Or in Palestine for that matter. Theresa May made a “passionate” speech recently in defence of Israel in which she mentioned her respect for the Balfour Agreement under which the state of Israel came into being. What she conveniently overlooked from that Agreement was where it required Israel to take up residence “without interfering in the rights of other non-Jewish communities living in Palestine.”) Does that make me a “useful idiot” to Hamas? Or do you not have strong views on the rights of the people of Palestine to have their own state too? They have waited nearly seventy years now during which they’ve been treated like vermin and the frustration and hatred that have come out of that has allowed groups like Hamas to get elected.

      Even if we don’t have strong views on anything the principle of wanting factual news is surely something we should all demand, especially from organisations like the BBC and any newspaper that wants to be taken seriously? If, as we’ve seen with this affair, they broadcast items they admit aren’t verified then doesn’t that mean they’re not actually broadcasting news but, rather, propaganda?

      • Martinned

        I’m just curious why Craig and most commenters here jump all over any bad thing that is said about Putin or Trump while echoing any slander of Clinton &c without criticism. Even if you’re going to claim a passion for truth telling, why prioritise defending the scum of the earth? Why not start by defending those who at least have good intentions?

        • Jo

          “I’m just curious why Craig and most commenters here jump all over any bad thing that is said about Putin or Trump while echoing any slander of Clinton &c without criticism. Even if you’re going to claim a passion for truth telling, why prioritise defending the scum of the earth? Why not start by defending those who at least have good intentions?”

          I think you’ve made my main point for me when it comes to being balanced.

          In wanting the truth I don’t think, “Oh, it’s scum of the earth Putin here so I’m on the side of whoever is going for him.” That’s not how I start off deciding on a position. We know many of these reports from the hacking to the latest lot are unverified. That means it cannot be seen as evidence of any kind.

          Hillary’s conduct in choosing to use a private server instead of the state server immediately breached US security requirements. Do you understand that? So that puts her in a bad position from the off. She wouldn’t have been able to delete data from the official server as it isn’t possible to do that. Everything is retained for security reasons, obviously, on the official state server. Why did Hillary need a private server and the facility to delete data? That isn’t rumour, it’s fact. The intention, if any, would not be seen as remotely good but rather bad in that she sought to be able to hide the things she needed to get rid of. Not great for someone hoping to be president.

          Second, her track record as Secretary of State didn’t look good to me and her stated intention to impose a no-fly zone over Syria as soon as she won the election sent out a terrible message that she was still the same old war-monger with not a care for the rest of the world and the Middle East in particular. That wasn’t a rumour either. She said it. I heard her.

          Can you not still picture her when Gadaffi was killed. Sitting there grinning like a Cheshire cat, laughing and saying, “We came, we saw, he died.”? What sort of monster would behave like that when yet another Arab country was in ruins because of western interference?

          I do not accept your position that I, as a commenter, “jump all over bad things about Putin and Trump” automatically. What I’ve done is view the things I’ve seen without picking a side before I begin. I do not envy the American people the choice that was put before them in November. It was what my late Mum used to call “being between the devil and the deep blue sea”. They reached a decision. Those who have reacted badly to the outcome keep banging on about democracy while also urging others to challenge an election process. That the media has taken such a leading role in all of that is irresponsible and dangerous.

    • CanSpeccy

      The Time article to which you were so kindly directed by Google contains nothing but piffle:

      “Russian intelligence agencies have allegedly recently digitally broken into four different American organizations that are affiliated either with Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party since late May. All of the hacks appear designed to benefit Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations in one fashion or another.”

      “allegedly”, “appear designed to”, blah, blah, blah.

      Fake news written by someone without the guts to make a definite assertion about anything.


      • Martinned

        You’re welcome to Google something else. (Or Bing even.) There’s no shortage of evidence. (Unless of course you’ve decided – no true Scotsman-style – that any criticism of Trump is by definition lies.)

  • Palin

    Thinking about it, I believe BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith has (deliberately or unwitingly) played a blinder here – this story was about to be published by all the major outlets (NYT etc.) in the form ‘we have seen an intelligence report that suggests’ etc. and it would have been impossible to repudiate it. By BuzzFeed actually publishing the report, the whole thing has been laid bare as a fake in about 5 minutes. A victory for transparency, and much egg on the face of John McCain.

  • Phil Ex-Frog

    Very funny post but:

    the final evidence of the demise of that newspaper’s journalistic values

    Again? Your repeated declarations of the final nail suggest a touching yet betrayed devotion. Let it go. Move on from endless hope and embrace the realisation that it is, always has been and can only ever be, a corporate rag marketed for lefties that ultimately serves the corporate state agenda. Honestly, this place is like groundhog day.

        • Wolsto

          Vic Marks is still there. And I like Andy Bull. I’ve been emailing in to the over by over stuff since it started in the early 2000’s, so I’ve got a soft spot for that as well. Selvey is a big loss though.

    • lysias

      It’s probably still worth reading for the same reason people read the old Pravda and Izvestiya, i.e., to find out what the powers that be want other people to think.

  • Jo

    I read the Guardian stuff late last night open-mouthed because, at various points in the splurge, the Guardian actually admitted that the information it was publishing “cannot be verified”. So why publish? This is a newspaper that is in big trouble and which, on every article, includes an appeal to the reader to support them financially.

    It seems to me, and I’m prepared to admit I may be naive, that there has never been such hysteria and uproar over the election of anyone to the presidency of the US or to the PM post in the UK, ever. I simply cannot take in the lengths the Guardian and the BBC especially are prepared to go to in order to pursue and continue surely the most outrageous hissy fit on record, up to and including the willingness to publish and broadcast false information.

    We’ve heard all this stuff against Trump, about him being “anti-democratic” but are the people showing absolute contempt for democracy not all in the media where their clear intention is to undermine and, if possible, overthrow an election result? In the Guardian, perfectly reasonable posts are disappearing like snow aff the proverbial dyke if they remotely challenge what the Guardian has been doing all these months. So what happened to “Comment is free but facts are sacred”? What happened to free speech?

    The Democrats, particularly Clinton, kicked off the Trump-Putin links during the campaign. Trump said he wanted to work with other countries, including Russia, in order to find solutions, not go to war with them. Clinton announced she’d impose a no-fly zone over Syria and was, potentially, also announcing her willingness to have her military shoot down Russian ‘planes! Yet for not wanting war Trump is Putin’s puppet? Clinton has a great deal to answer for here and her team do as well. As for the “intelligence agencies”, shouldn’t we drop the intelligence word and call them something else?

    What I’m seeing right now is, for me anyway, unprecedented. I’m not crazy about Trump, not at all, but I was less crazy about Clinton. With the amount of personal baggage “that woman” (as Bill might say) carries it’s a wonder any ‘plane she travels on can get off the ground! Her political track record is appalling and she is responsible personally for many events connected with foreign policy that have made the world today a bloody awful mess. I am not surprised that the people of America ultimately could not find the stomach to elect her. Were I an American I reckon I’d have stayed home and not voted for either candidate. I wish the people of America had all done that and they might have forced the parties to come up with meaningful candidates!

    What frightens me most is that the media is so rabidly going with all this “unverified” stuff and calling it news. The worst case scenario for me is that there is a hope, perhaps even a clear intention, that they will kick off serious civil unrest in the US against the Trump presidency and that this whole thing has been about actually stopping him from taking office. The real shocker is that so many so-called “celebrities” are willing to help out by turning even Awards events into political rallies.

    • lysias

      I am reminded of the segment of The World at War TV series where a German who was in Germany at the time said that the German press had become “absolutely hysterical” in the weeks before the invasion of Poland.

    • John Goss

      Jo, I am going to appoint you head of intelligence.

      “As for the “intelligence agencies”, shouldn’t we drop the intelligence word and call them something else?”

      What about “entertainment industries”?

      I’ll defer for something better!

      • Jo

        Thank you for the appointment. I’ll think it over.

        I’m still searching for words as to what to call the “intelligence” agencies to be honest! I was thinking of “The Goons” but that would be an insult to Spike and the rest of the gang as they were genuinely entertaining.

  • Habbabkuk

    “This private western company can for example secretly interview staff in top Moscow hotels – which they themselves say are Russian security service controlled – without the staff being too scared to speak to them or ending up dead.”

    D’ye think the staff would also end up dead if this was happening in fascist, racist Great Britain, Craig (yes, that Great Britain – the epitome of evil, of which you are so deeply ashamed)?

  • bevin

    The stories get more and more laughable, as the CIA, and other Cold Warriors for hire, discover that there really are no limits to the unverifiable, unlikely and and silly claims that the media will publish.
    They must be kicking themselves. They’ve been fabricating news and buying opinion makers for seventy years but, in the past, they always tried to keep their stories minimally plausible. Now that has all gone by the board: anyone can say anything and the media will go for it, hype it up, give it the old Page One treatment. And the punditry will ponder its meaning, with creased foreheads and the strangled diction of men searching desperately for truth, rather than whores scoring a coupla’ bucks.
    Obviously the spooks are getting desperate-we know that the media, particularly the papers are- and will do just about anything to prevent or cripple a Trump a Presidency.
    They might want to cool down down though; if anything does happen to Trump the spectacle of US Democracy will be totally discredited and the countdown to the end will have started.
    There is massive unemployment, job insecurity and fear of the future stalking the USA. Seventy years after Taft Hartley (and a century after the Russian Revolution) the structural inequality and the hubris of the capitalist class have combined to produce a situation which is the equivalent of 1788 in France: the poor won’t take it any more and the rich, far from being prepared to give anything up are demanding even more from ‘the suckers.’

    • Habbabkuk

      “.. the equivalent of 1788 in France: the poor won’t take it any more and the rich, far from being prepared to give anything up are demanding even more from ‘the suckers.’”

      There are many very reputable historians, Bevs, who put the French Revolution down to the discontent of the late C18 equivalent of today’s”middle classes” and not to “the poor”.

    • Bhante

      Bevin, the fact that the US government agencies have stocked up with 3 billion * rounds of dum-dum bullets for intrernal emergencies may have something to do with it.

      (* I may have remembered the number wrongly, but it was certainly a very large multiple of the entire population of the USA)

  • lysias

    They’re saying on ZeroHedge that CNN is now saying that the Cohen in Prague was a different Cohen from Mark Cohen, Trump’s lawyer who can show he was in California at the time and that he has never been in Prague.

    The story is falling apart! Even the New York Times is rejecting it.

  • /b/

    Best part is, it doesn’t just discredit the media, it discredits the IC. Legislative finger-wagging by the Church and Pike Committees failed, so clearly what was needed was a good ratfuck. So Manafort and Stone made CIA a laughingstock.

    The comedy continues, with CIA doing slapstick faceplants on banana peels laid in their path.

    CIA is not what it was. The trust-fund psychopaths gave way to jarhead washouts – not too bright to begin with, PTSD-addled with shook-baby syndrome from ordnance and IEDs. Violent and criminal, to be sure, but easy pickings for the pros who left for civil society or public life worldwide.

    Trump could shut down NSA on his first day at work – NSA has no legislative charter. Same with FBI. Decapitate ODNI, cripple NCS with a little counter-impunity diplomacy. What you’re left with is a perfectly good set of eyes and ears without all the universal-jurisdiction crime: INR and DIA.

    • lysias

      As well as discrediting the media and the IC, this may well end up discrediting McCain too. The opposition to Trump within the Republican Party may evaporate.

  • Habbabkuk

    The following Q & A from the House of Commons the other day will certainly be of interest to all fair-minded people.

    “Oliver Dowden (Hertsmere) (Con)
    Many of my constituents are concerned that the recent UN vote marks a change in the British Government’s stance towards Israel. Will the Foreign Secretary confirm that that is not the case, and that we remain steadfast allies of that beacon of liberalism and democracy in the middle east?

    Boris Johnson
    As is well known, the state of Israel is just about the only democracy in that part of the world. It is a free and liberal society, unlike many others in the region. I passionately support the state of Israel. It was very important that, in resolution 2334, the UK Government not only stuck by 30-year-old UK policy in respect of settlements, but underscored our horror of violence against the people of Israel.’

    [ For the record, Mr Dowden was a SPAD and then Deputy Chief of Staff for former PM David Cameron after reading jurisprudence at Cambridge. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 Dissolution Honours Lists on 27 August 2015.’

    A decent enough chap. ]

    • Sharp Ears

      That was cribbed from a post on The Lifeboat News describing how the House of Commons is infested with ‘Friends of Israel’.

      • Phil Ex-Frog

        WTF? Sharp Ears comment remains but my comment objecting is deleted.

        Insects infest. Cockroaches infest. Is it acceptable to say a plague of J** lovers?

        People do not infest. This is the language of hate. It is unambiguous racism.

        Sharp Ears fully understands the meaning when she uses “infested”. As demonstrated from her previous understanding of the problem with using “swarm” in regard of people. She objected on this very blog when Cameron did this. “How dare he!” she exclaimed. In Sharp Ears eyes some people are insects while others not.

        This is no accidental misuse of words by Sharp Ears. It is a pattern of language use that repeatedly reveals her bigotry. For example, her regular use of “BiBiCee”, even when there is zero context of Israeli influence. This invokes the dreadful mystical stereo type of global J***** conspiracy, controlling the media, the banks, the friggin world.

        Such racism should not be tolerated. I though it was against the rules of this blog.

  • lysias

    Looks like two Brits were involved, a former MI6 man and a former ambassador to Russia, according to this ZeroHedge piece: McCain Admits He Gave Dossier Containing “Sensitive Information” On Trump To The FBI:

    Bernstein told CNN: ‘It came from a former British MI6 agent who was hired from a political opposition research firm in Washington who was doing work about Donald Trump for both republican and democratic candidates opposed to Trump.

    ‘They were looking at Trumps business ties, they saw some questionable things about Russians, about his businesses in Russia, they in turn hired this MI6 former investigator, he then came up with additional information from his Russian sources, he was very concerned by the implications of it, he then took it to an FBI colleague that he had known in his undercover work for years, he took it to this FBI man in Rome who turned it over to the bureau in Washington in August.

    ‘And then, a former British ambassador to Russia independently was made aware of these findings and he took the information to John McCain – Senator John McCain of Arizona – in the period just after the election, and showed it to McCain – additional findings.

    I would imagine the former British ambassador to Russia would be easier to identify.

    • Habbabkuk

      “I would imagine the former British ambassador to Russia would be easier to identify.”

      I agree – especially if we knew which Oxford college he attended.

    • Anonymous

      WIki has a list of Ambassaors to the USSR and then Russia. The latest ‘former’ Ambassador is Tim Barrow (2011-2015) who apparently like worked in Moscow in the 1990’s (as second secretary to the British Embassy). He replaced the relatively anonymous Anne Pringle (2008-2011). She followed Anthony Brenton (2004-2008) with Harvard connections. He followed Roderick Lynne (2000-2004) with Chatham House. JPMorganChase (controllers of Iraq’s banks), BP, and was a member of the Chilcot Inquiry.

      • lysias

        Before he was just appointed Ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow, starting in March 2016, was political director of the Foreign Office.

        He would appear to be very much in the good graces of the government.

        • Habbabkuk

          To paraphrase CanSpeccy (16h38, above),

          “Sly innuendo written by someone without the guts to make a definite assertion about anything.”

          Describes your comments to a ” t”

    • Jo

      “Looks like two Brits were involved.”

      Would not be surprised. We rather like dodgy dossiers!

  • Dave

    Anecdotal but I was in a discussion with someone who swore blind that black was white and would not budge despite the clear evidence they were wrong. To me this confirmed a prejudice, because it revealed not only wrong headedness but a relentless determination to deny the truth that was thoroughly mad and bad and discreditable.

    I presume repeated bare faced lying for evil ends is based on the theory of the Big Lie, that if you lie enough it becomes true, but the Big Lie is not easy to tell, because it offends against our very nature, we hate the lie and liars, so it requires a special kind of moral depravity to promote the Big Lie and a special kind of arrogance to expect it to be believed. That is not everyone can do it, but a select few can!

    • MJ

      As someone quite famous said:

      “…in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation”.

  • scott

    tbh – producing a passport and saying ‘I’ve never been to Prague’ is as valid as me saying ‘I’ve never been to Texas’.

    • lysias

      A passport would show whether Mark Cohen was anywhere within the Schengen territory during the alleged time frame, August 2016.

      • scott

        exactly… but saying ‘I’ve never been to Prague’… means nothing. Anywhere in schengen, means nothing. It can’t be proven using a passport.

        • lysias

          They just confirmed at Trump’s news conference that they’re backing down on the Mark-Cohen-in-Prague story. Apparently they’re now saying it was a different Mark Cohen.

    • John A

      If he actually ever had been to Prague, it could and would eventually be verified. To come out and lie about never having been to Prague is therefore a very risky thing to do.

  • MJ

    Efforts to prevent Trump’s presidency (only nine days to go now) must be reaching their climax.

    First there was incitement to riot, but no-one showed up. Then there were those recounts intended to find evidence of vote-rigging. They found evidence of vote-rigging alright but in Clinton’s favour, so that was dropped like a hot potato. Then there was the Russian hacking conspiracy theory (shame there was no evidence) and now there’s this piece of nonsense.

    Is there time for anything else? Smears won’t be enough. Something that calls into question Trump’s legal right to take office must be the last throw of the dice. That or assassination (but Trump seems quite secure in his Tower).

    • John Goss

      I’ve seen a few presidential elections but I’ve never seen a president-elect targeted like this before. My best guess at the moment is that because he is more of a businessman than a politician the controlling elite consider him a wild card. They will have been very dismayed that he did not listen to the “entertainment industries” script over Russia having something with which to blackmail him, because in their eyes he has straight away shown himself to be a wild card. These scripwriters will see they are not dealing with a true actor, like Ronald Reagan, and the new boy on the block is likely some kind of method actor of the Russian Stanislavski mould, and likely to go off script at any time. With all the scandals just waiting to break, pizzagate, 9/11, downing of MH17 (of which the US claims to have radar as to who did it) and loads more, it is no wonder the spooks are getting nervous.

      • Jo

        “I’ve seen a few presidential elections but I’ve never seen a president-elect targeted like this before.”

        Yes, that’s the thing for me too. It’s extraordinary the scale of it and quite unprecedented.

        I think it is absolutely fair to say that Trump is indeed a wild card! The wildest ever really. But still, he was elected. The aftermath has been so full or rage and protest and now, basically, lies, that it really did seem to me there was a wish to get people on the streets rioting if possible! I thought that was so dangerous and irresponsible. Such a potent mix yet it was being stirred up shamelessly. Makes one shudder really. And the sad thing is, it’s not over yet.

        • John Goss

          They reckon George Soros is the money behind those street riots Jo. Like you say it’s not over yet.

          If Trump’s feeling the pressure, wild card or not, he’s not showing it. Half the high-ranking clergyment in the US are going to be at his swearing-in ceremony. And for the first time ever they are going to use the Christian Bible. I just hope he will try and live up to the practices of loving neighbour countries, peacemaking, hungering and thirsting for righteousness and all the other ideals that former presidents have never even considered. I judge people by their actions. Obama’s first inaugural speech brought tears to my eyes, closing Gitmo, love and peacemaking – sounded just the ticket. Cynics are made not born and I have become one. The world needs a US president with the guts to stick to principles. Let’s pray, keep our fingers crossed, or whatever symbol of hope and faith we fall back on when things are not looking good, that all the money wasted on weapons can be used to cure the disease that has afflicted Uncle Sam.

          • Jo

            I felt sad last night listening to Obama’s farewell speech. (We had awful gales here and I wasn’t able to sleep plus my Border Collie was going nuts with the noise from the gale so we ended up back downstairs listening to Obama.) He is a great orator, no doubt about that, and has a great wife and family. Very solid in that respect. Like you I’d expected more from him and especially I’d wanted to see Gitmo being no more. That said I was dismayed by other things he did, by all this drone stuff going in to take people out and especially by the Syria situation where, like the UK, the US was funding groups linked with IS who were killing civilians and it wasn’t about Syria but just about bringing down Assad. Very depressing. Maybe he’ll have his own regrets. I think it certainly seemed so during his speech.

            It makes sense to get on with your neighbours doesn’t it? Everything works so much better when people are friends or, if not friends, at least civil to each other. When you take that analogy up a few rungs to international relations it is so much better for all of us if they’re engaging in dialogue rather than dropping bombs on each other.

            Trump isn’t one of my favourite people I have to say. He’s caused a lot of uproar here in Scotland with his antics over various golf courses! He is no orator either, it has to be said. I have to say however that if forced to vote between him and Hillary I’d have had to vote for him as Hillary’s track record is so appalling I think I’d rather face execution than give her my vote. All this, “She’s a woman, we want a woman president, end of.” stuff shocked me. She is a monster. She proved it by declaring her intention to, potentially, set up WW3 by imposing a no-fly zone over Syria if she got elected. I preferred Trump’s declaration that he wanted to work with all countries, including Russia, to find common ground and resolve all troublesome issues. Seems a better way.

            I’ve become a cynic too. So many labels around now and such obsession with those labels.

            I agree that even if Trump is under pressure, he’s not showing it. Have seen snippets from his press conference today, much of it not great. But the election was won. People, and the media, and all these sad celebrities, need to accept that.

            “Let’s pray, keep our fingers crossed, or whatever symbol of hope and faith we fall back on when things are not looking good…”

            I’m already praying that the role the media has played in seeking to poison the outcome of a particular US election will be exposed. I hope he makes a go of it and has people behind him who will help him to do that. The outcome didn’t suit all but perhaps the Democrats should be asking what possessed them to let someone like HIllary stand.

            I’m currently watching some rabid coverage of the Trump press conference on BBC News 24. It is utter character assassination. It really would make you weep that the BBC has come to this. It’s ghastly.

          • Macky

            “make you weep that the BBC has come to this.”

            Did you catch in the Q&As, Trump has got the measure of the BBC, he was refusing to take questions from some MSM “fake news” companies as he called them, and when the next reporter said he was from the BBC, Trump quipped, “they’re a peach too” ! 😀

          • Alcyone

            ” I have to say however that if forced to vote between him and Hillary I’d have had to vote for him as Hillary’s track record is so appalling I think I’d rather face execution than give her my vote. ”

            You are one after my heart! Keep it up!

    • Jo

      There were people on the Guardian today claiming there is already enough “evidence” to impeach Trump!

      There was a separate article on Obama’s speech last night written up by a Guardian guy which claimed to be reproducing what he said. The part where Obama urged the crowd not to boo (when he mentioned the incoming new president) was completely missed out.

      ” In ten days, the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power from one freely-elected president to the next.” (This was when the booing started and Obama said, “No, no, no!” and urged them to stop. ) Obama went on, “I committed to President-Elect Trump that my administration would ensure the smoothest possible transition, just as President Bush did for me. Because it’s up to all of us to make sure our government can help us meet the many challenges we still face.”

      The interesting thing about that part of Obama’s speech, for me, was that when the first “Russia hacked us and influenced the election outcome.” thing started, Obama personally threatened reprisals on Russia. And the media (with accompanying “celebrities”, joined in.)

      It seems to me that if Obama was serious about ensuring there was a peaceful transition he might have distanced himself from all the “unverified” stuff flying around and the clear attempts to undermine an election result. That said, some in the US are so relaxed about overthrowing governments in foreign countries maybe they’ve decided to have a go at the same thing on their own territory.

      • Derek

        Wish there was a way to upvote your posts on here.

        If you find reading the Guardian too depressing try doing what so many others are doing and stop reading it. If I am curious about what rubbish the Guardian is currently pushing I check out OffGuardian.

  • Jeff Riley

    Another great piece. I am sure the Americans have plenty of authentic material on Trump – like they had on Kennedy – and will use it as and when he threatens to upset the relevant apple carts too much.

    • lysias

      And the spokesman at the conference just said that the other Cohen who was in Prague is also named Michael Cohen! A likely story!

      • lysias

        Trump now saying that maybe the intelligence agencies are behind the story.

        Methinks heads will roll at the CIA.

        He criticizes one TV station without naming it. He obviously means CNN.

    • Jo

      “…….even the BBC couldn’t use these blatant lies”

      Hasn’t stopped Auntie spewing out the rest of the stuff repeatedly since last night while also admitting, “We can’t verify this but we’re going to present it as news anyway!”

  • Sharp Ears

    I’m listening to President Elect Trump’s news conference. What a difference from Hopey Change. He is forthright, optimistic and brimming with confidence. Quite impressive.

    • Phil the ex-frog

      Jesus friggin wept. Really. I thought the stupity of comments here could no longer catch me out.

      So you are impressed? Jesis friggin wept. I have no idea what he said but of course it doesn’t matter. When will you liberals ever learn? Seriousl;y, how many politicians does it take to lie to you before you notice? Mary, you think what Trump will do will be impressive and guided by what he says now. The answer lies in your dig at Obombers (as you like to call him) hopey change dig. I bet you applauded him into power too.

      Trump’s the establishment. Maybe not the establishment’s establishment but the establishment none the less. Do not mistake the infighting between those that would rule over us as anything except not our battle. He is a multi billionaire who can not help but pursue policy to further drive poverty.

      I have bookmarked this comment. I am going to link to it every time I see you whine about the misery and death shit caused by Trump’s US over the coming years. Did I say Jesus friggin wept.

      • Habbabkuk


        While not necessarily sharing your underlying belief that Trump “is the establishment” (that would depend, inter alia, on whether there is one or several establisments) I am happy to agree with everything you say in your post.

        It is a typical example of ” going a-whorin’ after false gods” – something I have often warned against on here.

        I think I’ll start bookmarking as well.

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