Discredited Russian collusion theory

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Pepe
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09 Nov 2021, 3:24 am

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‘Important development’ in investigation into discredited Russian collusion theory


Quote:
Sky News host Rita Panahi says there has been an “important development” in the investigation into the origins of the discredited FBI’s Trump/Russian collusion theory.

In 2016, former MI6 agent Christopher Steele produced a dossier outlining sensational allegations against Donald Trump, alleging among a number of things criminal links with Russia.

Ms Panahi said the allegations have “long been discredited”.

“But it turns out there were sensational links – although not ones the Democrats wanted you to know about,” she said.

https://www.skynews.com.au/opinion/impo ... erallPos=7


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Laughter is the best medicine. Age-appropriate behaviour is an arbitrary NT social construct.
Don't tell me white lies. Gaslight me at your peril. Don't give me your bad attitude. Hypnosis, psychosis. Tomarto, tomayto. There are *4* lights. Honey badger.
If I'm so bad, pass me by. ;)


And one more thing,



Also, as George Carlin said, "I have no stake in the outcome." I'll stick around for the comedy.

"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet."
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)
Read my lips:-I am not a fan of the orange man.-I would never vote for the Republican party given the chance.-I am interested in being objective and rational.


Dox47
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09 Nov 2021, 3:35 am

Dang, I'm still putting stuff together for this one, but let me give you a quick assist:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/11 ... ssier.html

Quote:
hristopher Steele, the former MI6 spy who compiled the notorious dossier during the 2016 campaign alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia, made a splash a few weeks back when he gave his first interview about it. Steele described his professionalism as an intelligence-gatherer to George Stephanopoulos of ABC News and then doubled down on some of the dossier’s most salacious allegations, asserting, among other things, that the infamous “pee tape” involving Trump may be still out there, just waiting to be found.

Since BuzzFeed published Steele’s reports in 2017, many of the dossier’s key claims have failed to materialize or have been shown to be false. But this week, it may have been dealt a death blow when the operative used by Steele to gather material for the dossier was indicted.

On Thursday, John Durham, the special counsel appointed to investigate the FBI’s probe into ties between Trump and Russia, charged operative Igor Danchenko with lying to the FBI about his work on the dossier and allegedly fabricating some information that appeared in it. A lawyer who represented Danchenko, a onetime analyst at the Brookings Institute, said at a court hearing that his client planned to enter a plea of not guilty but a judge told him to do so at a future arraignment. There is no question that Durham’s inquiry is viewed by some with suspicion. After all, he was appointed to his post by William Barr, Trump’s attorney general. And from the start, he seemed to tip his hand politically by publicly disagreeing with the finding by the Justice Department’s inspector general that the FBI had a legitimate basis to open an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Still, it’s hard to imagine a turn of events with more dire consequences than the new indictment for Steele, the dossier, and Fusion GPS, the investigative firm run by two ex-Wall Street Journal reporters that hired the ex-spy on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and promoted his reports to the media. The charges against Danchenko may also force a reckoning that some journalists who embraced the dossier had hoped to avoid — an examination of their reporting about it and their ties to operatives for hire.

Steele appears to have staked his reputation on the veracity of the reports he received from Danchenko. According to Crime in Progress, the book written about the dossier by Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, the founders of Fusion GPS, the former spy never disclosed Danchenko’s name to them but instead described him as one of the most talented collectors of intelligence he had ever worked with. In Durham’s indictment, however, Danchenko comes across more like the type of paid informant often found in the world of private spying — one who tells their employer what they want to hear.

According to those charges, he supposedly fed Steele some information that did not come from Kremlin-linked sources, as the dossier claims, but was gossip he picked up from an American public-relations executive with Democratic Party ties who did business in Moscow. In 2016, the indictment states, the manager of the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow gave that executive a tour of the the hotel’s presidential suite, and soon afterward, Danchenko took a selfie of himself and the executive at the hotel.

A few days later, Danchenko flew to London to meet with Steele who then wrote a report that described the hotel’s suite as the setting for the “pee” tape, citing Ritz-Carlton employees as some of the sources for that information. The American executive who had met with those employees told the FBI they never mentioned anything salacious to him, the indictment states.

A spokesman for Steele’s firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, declined to comment on the charges against Danchenko.

The fallout of Danchenko’s indictment for Fusion GPS and journalism are also significant because he is charged with lying to the FBI about a matter central to news accounts about dossier. Those reports identified a real-estate broker named Sergei Millian as a key but unwitting source of information for Steele’s reports, including claims of a long-running conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin. He was also cited in news accounts as one of the sources who claimed there was a pee tape.

Millian, who was born in Belarus, first drew the attention of Simpson and Steele in mid-2016 when he was quoted by a Russian news outlet saying he did a lot of business with the Trump Organization and knew about Trump’s taste for young Slavic women. Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, denied the claims, but Danchenko told the FBI in 2017 interviews, which became public last year, that Steele had dispatched him in mid-2016 to clandestinely approach Millian with the aim of getting information from him. Meanwhile, during the 2016 campaign, Simpson tried to interest reporters in doing articles about Millian, claiming he had dug up material to suggest he might be a Russian operative. (When I worked at the New York Times, Simpson provided me with material about Millian, though I never wrote about him.)

But it was after Trump’s election and BuzzFeed’s publication of the dossier that Millian’s name resurfaced with a vengeance. In early 2017, The Wall Street Journal first reported that he had been an unwitting but key source for some of the dossier’s most explosive allegations, including one contending that there was a long-running conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin. The newspaper’s scoop was unusual from a journalistic perspective, because while publications typically require reporters to have two sources for an article, the Journal article only cited one unnamed person as the source for its information about Millian. Soon afterward, other outlets, including the Washington Post, ran stories describing Millian as the person identified in Steele’s dossier as “Source D,” a figure whose information was critical to it. Several reporters have said that Fusion GPS began telling reporters that Millian was a key source for the dossier.

Millian vehemently denied ever speaking to Danchenko and Steele’s operative, and in his interviews with the FBI in 2017, told agents that the former British spy had overstated the information he had given him. Danchenko also insisted to the FBI that he had spoken briefly by telephone on one occasion with someone whom he believed was Millian, though he added he was not sure it was him and that he had never met with Millian in person.

But Durham charged that Danchenko had lied to the FBI, because emails indicated his supposed phone call with Millian had never taken place and that he never spoke to him at all. The indictment also claimed that Danchenko had even lied to Steele about his interactions with Millian by telling him that he had met with the real-estate broker when such a meeting had never occurred.

The prospect that information about Millian’s role in the dossier may have been fabricated sent some news organizations scrambling. The Washington Post, in its report about Danchenko’s indictment, stated the allegations related to Millian cast “new uncertainly on some past reporting on the dossier by news organizations, including the Washington Post.” In its account of the analyst’s indictment, The Wall Street Journal noted that it and other media outlets had identified Millian as a supposed key source for the dossier, but the paper didn’t directly address the sourcing or basis for its 2017 article.

Simpson and Fritsch did not respond to requests for comment about Danchenko’s indictment. But by now, some things don’t need to be said. Simpson and Fritsch accepted Steele’s reports at face value and the former MI6 agent never took the trouble to speak directly to Danchenko’s sources to check on their claims. Meanwhile, some of the journalists who agreed to conceal their interactions with Fusion GPS and Steele when writing about the dossier may now be starting to regret those decisions.

Links in original.


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Pepe
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09 Nov 2021, 3:37 am

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A key source for the infamous Trump-Russia dossier is charged with lying to the FBI

Updated November 4, 20211:07 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered
Ryan Lucas in 2018


Quote:
A Russian national who was a key source of information used in the 2016 dossier of allegations about Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russia has been arrested and indicted on accusations that he lied to the FBI.

Igor Danchenko was taken into custody Thursday morning as part of special counsel John Durham's investigation into the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia probe. Danchenko has been charged with five counts of making false statements.

The 43-year-old was a primary source of information for the so-called Steele dossier, a collection of reports compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. The dossier contained salacious claims about then-candidate Trump as well as allegations that people within Trump's orbit were conspiring with Russia to win the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
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Steele provided the information he had collected to the FBI during the 2016 campaign. The bureau later used some of the information in the dossier to get surveillance on a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page.

The FBI interviewed Danchenko several times in 2017 about the information he had provided Steele. According to the indictment, Danchenko lied to the FBI in those interviews about his sources.

It says that in one instance, Danchenko told the FBI he received an anonymous phone call in July 2016 from someone he believed to be the president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce, who informed him about a "conspiracy of cooperation" between the Trump campaign and Russia.

https://www.npr.org/2021/11/04/10523460 ... ng-to-the-


_________________
Laughter is the best medicine. Age-appropriate behaviour is an arbitrary NT social construct.
Don't tell me white lies. Gaslight me at your peril. Don't give me your bad attitude. Hypnosis, psychosis. Tomarto, tomayto. There are *4* lights. Honey badger.
If I'm so bad, pass me by. ;)


And one more thing,



Also, as George Carlin said, "I have no stake in the outcome." I'll stick around for the comedy.

"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet."
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)
Read my lips:-I am not a fan of the orange man.-I would never vote for the Republican party given the chance.-I am interested in being objective and rational.


cyberdad
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09 Nov 2021, 4:33 am

Meanwhile back in the real world
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/18/us/p ... eport.html

The investigation seemed quite comprehensive and is led by a republican controlled senate so no chance of bias.

The report concluded the Trump campaign was "stocked with businessmen with no government experience, advisers working at the fringes of the foreign policy establishment and other friends and associates Mr. Trump had accumulated over the years. Campaign figures, the report said, “presented attractive targets for foreign influence, creating notable counterintelligence vulnerabilities.”



Brictoria
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09 Nov 2021, 4:45 am

For reference, here is a copy of the indictment of Mr Danchenko:
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/21098456-danchenko-indictment


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Pepe
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09 Nov 2021, 5:08 am

cyberdad wrote:
Meanwhile back in the real world
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/18/us/p ... eport.html

The investigation seemed quite comprehensive and is led by a republican controlled senate so no chance of bias.

The report concluded the Trump campaign was "stocked with businessmen with no government experience, advisers working at the fringes of the foreign policy establishment and other friends and associates Mr. Trump had accumulated over the years. Campaign figures, the report said, “presented attractive targets for foreign influence, creating notable counterintelligence vulnerabilities.”


The link is behind a paywall. 8)

I don't think what you posted adds anything beyond vague innuendos.
And there is no suggestion of *Trumps* collusion with Putin that I can see. :scratch:


_________________
Laughter is the best medicine. Age-appropriate behaviour is an arbitrary NT social construct.
Don't tell me white lies. Gaslight me at your peril. Don't give me your bad attitude. Hypnosis, psychosis. Tomarto, tomayto. There are *4* lights. Honey badger.
If I'm so bad, pass me by. ;)


And one more thing,



Also, as George Carlin said, "I have no stake in the outcome." I'll stick around for the comedy.

"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet."
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)
Read my lips:-I am not a fan of the orange man.-I would never vote for the Republican party given the chance.-I am interested in being objective and rational.


Dox47
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09 Nov 2021, 5:33 am

More:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... ko-durham/

Quote:
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow in December 2017 aired a special report on the Trump-Russia dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. That document, claimed Maddow, relied on information coming from Steele’s “deep cover sources inside Russia.”

A federal indictment unsealed Thursday has something to say about the quality of those “sources.”

It charges Igor Danchenko, the dossier’s primary intelligence collector, with making false statements to the FBI about his interactions with sources consulted for the dossier. Danchenko isn’t a deep-cover type; he’s a Russian national living in the United States and a former Brookings Institution analyst who “focused on analyzing business and political risks in Russia,” as the New York Times put it.

The charges against Danchenko are the work of John Durham, the Justice Department special counsel whose mandate is to investigate the investigation into Donald Trump and Russia. He has been on the case for 2½ years.

The Danchenko indictment doubles as a critique of several media outlets that covered Steele’s reports in 2016 and after its publication by BuzzFeed in January 2017. As discussed in this series, CNN, MSNBC, Mother Jones, the McClatchy newspaper chain and various pundits showered credibility upon the dossier without corroboration — and found other topics to cover when a forceful debunking arrived in December 2019 via a report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

The indictment provides further insight into why the FBI had concluded that the dossier was mostly a jumble of claims that were inaccurate, unconfirmed or already publicly reported. Sourcing for the dossier was threadbare in the most charitable of depictions.

For example: According to the indictment, Danchenko denied to the FBI that he’d discussed dossier material with a person described in the document as “PR Executive-1,” since identified as Charles Dolan Jr., a longtime Democratic operative who volunteered for the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign. The indictment traces at least one allegation in the dossier directly to exchanges that Danchenko had with Dolan. “Any thought, rumor, allegation. I am working on a related project against Trump,” wrote Danchenko in an email to Dolan.

The timing for this interaction was August 2016, when Paul Manafort resigned from his position as Trump campaign chairman. According to the indictment, Danchenko asked Dolan for information about the campaign’s shakeup, and Dolan responded that he’d had drinks with a “GOP friend” who said people on the campaign wanted Manafort out. The dossier revised the wording here and there, but provided a report that was “substantially the same” as what Dolan had passed along, in the words of the indictment. Talk about circular logic: The dossier was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee — via research group Fusion GPS — yet here was a career Democrat feeding information to its primary collector.

It gets more embarrassing: The indictment alleges that Dolan never actually had drinks with a Republican pal; instead, he “fabricated the fact of the meeting,” in the words of the indictment, and pieced together the gossip from news sources. That looks pretty bad, especially alongside Steele’s recent defense of the dossier to ABC News’/s George Stephanopoulos. “I stand by the work we did, the sources that we had and the professionalism which we applied to it,” Steele said, speculating there would be more revelations down the road.

Another key claim in the indictment relates to an alleged dossier source identified as “Chamber President-1,” also known as Sergei Millian, former president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce. In January 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that “key claims” from the dossier originated from Millian, although not directly; they were “relayed by at least one third party to the British ex-spy who prepared the dossier." ABC News published a similar story a week later.

The Washington Post in March 2017 reported on a conversation in which Millian “shared some tantalizing claims about Donald Trump” — namely, that “Trump had a long-standing relationship with Russian officials … and those officials were now feeding Trump damaging information about his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.” Another claim that purportedly came in part from Millian was the dossier’s most infamous — about Trump allegedly participating in activity at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton with prostitutes.

The Danchenko indictment, however, challenges the idea that Millian fed information to Steele’s project, wittingly or unwittingly. It claims that Danchenko “never spoke” to Millian, and that his claims of a phone call were fabricated. That’s particularly troublesome to fans of the dossier, because Steele believed that Danchenko had “direct contact” with Millian, according to the indictment. Danchenko “never corrected [Steele] about that erroneous belief,” the indictment states.

The Wall Street Journal on Friday published a story noting that the indictment contradicted the newspaper’s original reporting on Millian. "We will continue to follow the Danchenko case closely and report updates as they develop,” a Journal spokesperson said in a statement. We asked the Journal if it intended to add an editor’s note/correction/retraction to the January 2017 story. A spokesperson declined to elaborate.

The Post also covered the indictment’s implications for its previous story. Executive Editor Sally Buzbee said in a statement: “The indictment raises new questions about whether Sergei Millian was a source for the Steele dossier, as The Post reported in 2017. We are continuing to report on the origins and ramifications of the document.” In a follow-up inquiry, we asked whether The Post is reviewing its previous work on Millian and whether it would publish its findings. A spokesperson for the newspaper declined to comment beyond Buzbee’s statement.

ABC News issued this statement: “We are reviewing this in light of new developments.”

News organizations may face a mismatch as they place their reporting alongside the indictment. Where the indictment relies on emails, interviews and other powerful investigative tools, the Journal’s initial scoop cited a single anonymous source. The sourcing for the The Post’s reporting about Millian’s alleged conversation is unclear, while ABC News attributes its primary assertion to “a person familiar with the raw intelligence provided to the FBI.”

These news outlets now face a steep journalistic challenge — that of returning to their source(s) in an effort to back up the original claims that Millian was an unwitting source for the dossier. If that effort doesn’t produce enough evidence to surmount the allegations in the indictment, there’s only one option: Retract the stories. Allowing one version of events to sit awkwardly alongside another — and leaving it to the reader to decide — won’t cut it.

On her Thursday night program, Maddow cast the Danchenko indictment in political terms, wondering whether the goal of Durham’s work is to “try to discredit the whole Russia investigation by arresting various sources for that investigation, to discredit the Steele dossier because so many people have been led to think that was the reason for the investigation.”

There is, indeed, far more to Russia-Trump than the dossier. Just spend some time with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan report, a nearly 1,000-page document that lays out the whole mess. “The Russian government disrupted an American election to help Mr. Trump become president, Russian intelligence services viewed members of the Trump campaign as easily manipulated, and some of Mr. Trump’s advisers were eager for the help from an American adversary,” noted the New York Times in its summary.

Just as Durham can’t use the dossier to deflect from the larger Trump-Russia tableau, however, people such as Maddow and others can’t use the larger Trump-Russia tableau to deflect from their coverage of the dossier. A reckoning is years overdue.


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cyberdad
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09 Nov 2021, 5:52 am

Pepe wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
Meanwhile back in the real world
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/18/us/p ... eport.html

The investigation seemed quite comprehensive and is led by a republican controlled senate so no chance of bias.

The report concluded the Trump campaign was "stocked with businessmen with no government experience, advisers working at the fringes of the foreign policy establishment and other friends and associates Mr. Trump had accumulated over the years. Campaign figures, the report said, “presented attractive targets for foreign influence, creating notable counterintelligence vulnerabilities.”


The link is behind a paywall. 8)

I don't think what you posted adds anything beyond vague innuendos.
And there is no suggestion of *Trumps* collusion with Putin that I can see. :scratch:


Here's a reliable source outlining the senate findings
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackbrewst ... c31c3edaec

They were fairly incontrovertible.



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09 Nov 2021, 9:20 am

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Article paywalled at https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/trump-haters-are-silent-as-plot-is-exposed-bgzxc6wlq


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09 Nov 2021, 9:26 pm

cyberdad wrote:
Pepe wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
Meanwhile back in the real world
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/18/us/p ... eport.html

The investigation seemed quite comprehensive and is led by a republican controlled senate so no chance of bias.

The report concluded the Trump campaign was "stocked with businessmen with no government experience, advisers working at the fringes of the foreign policy establishment and other friends and associates Mr. Trump had accumulated over the years. Campaign figures, the report said, “presented attractive targets for foreign influence, creating notable counterintelligence vulnerabilities.”


The link is behind a paywall. 8)

I don't think what you posted adds anything beyond vague innuendos.
And there is no suggestion of *Trumps* collusion with Putin that I can see. :scratch:


Here's a reliable source outlining the senate findings
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackbrewst ... c31c3edaec

They were fairly incontrovertible.

I believe you.
Here is a quote from the article:
Quote:
While the report found “no evidence of collusion between President Trump and the Russians,” it did find that Trump campaign staff attempted to benefit politically from the leaks.


8)

"Game, set, and match."
Advantage, Trump. :mrgreen:


_________________
Laughter is the best medicine. Age-appropriate behaviour is an arbitrary NT social construct.
Don't tell me white lies. Gaslight me at your peril. Don't give me your bad attitude. Hypnosis, psychosis. Tomarto, tomayto. There are *4* lights. Honey badger.
If I'm so bad, pass me by. ;)


And one more thing,



Also, as George Carlin said, "I have no stake in the outcome." I'll stick around for the comedy.

"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet."
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)
Read my lips:-I am not a fan of the orange man.-I would never vote for the Republican party given the chance.-I am interested in being objective and rational.


cyberdad
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10 Nov 2021, 12:50 am

The timing of the leaks coinciding with the 2016 election are awfully convenient



Pepe
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10 Nov 2021, 5:43 pm

cyberdad wrote:
The timing of the leaks coinciding with the 2016 election are awfully convenient


You do understand how politics works, right? :scratch: :mrgreen:


_________________
Laughter is the best medicine. Age-appropriate behaviour is an arbitrary NT social construct.
Don't tell me white lies. Gaslight me at your peril. Don't give me your bad attitude. Hypnosis, psychosis. Tomarto, tomayto. There are *4* lights. Honey badger.
If I'm so bad, pass me by. ;)


And one more thing,



Also, as George Carlin said, "I have no stake in the outcome." I'll stick around for the comedy.

"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet."
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)
Read my lips:-I am not a fan of the orange man.-I would never vote for the Republican party given the chance.-I am interested in being objective and rational.


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10 Nov 2021, 6:22 pm

FYI I’m not ignoring this thread just haven’t had time to find the backup for the comments I have in mind. With this topic I know I can’t comment without more specifics and back up.


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12 Nov 2021, 10:32 pm

An article I saw today making it quite clear the evidence of a potential “Russia” connection never was only the Steele dossier. And this one comes from a right leaning reporter:

https://gfile.thedispatch.com/p/in-defe ... tm_source=


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13 Nov 2021, 9:37 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
An article I saw today making it quite clear the evidence of a potential “Russia” connection never was only the Steele dossier. And this one comes from a right leaning reporter:

https://gfile.thedispatch.com/p/in-defe ... tm_source=


But try getting the right to concede to any other evidence of Russian collusion.


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13 Nov 2021, 10:09 pm

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Why TF should you?


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