IG Report: McCain Aide Leaked Steele Dossier to Buzzfeed; McCain Colluded With Comey
Written by R. Cort Kirkwood
Late U.S. Senator John McCain wasn’t just an enemy of the prisoners of war the U.S. government left behind in Vietnam.
He bitterly hated and opposed Donald Trump, so much so that McCain collaborated in the effort to smear the president with the notorious Steele Dossier, assembled by British spy Christopher Steele for Fusion GPS, a paid consultant for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
One of the more outlandish claims in the dossier, a linchpin of the Russia “collusion” hoax, was that Trump, at the Ritz Carlton in 2013 in Moscow, hired prostitutes to urinate on a bed in the presidential suite because President and Mrs. Obama stayed there.
The latest on McCain?
He either permitted or ordered a staff member of his foundation to pass the dossier to Buzzfeed, which published it 10 days before Trump was inaugurated. And he colluded with then-FBI chieftain James Comey, who knew the dossier was weak at best, to use it against Trump.
News In a Footnote
The news comes in a footnote to the report, from the Justice Department’s inspector general, about the FBI’s Russia collusion probe.
The report found major problems with applications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to surveil the Trump campaign and Trump advisor Carter Page.
But then came the footnotes, which Breitbart writer Aaron Klein took the time to read.
Steele testified in foreign litigation that he did not provide his reports to journalists or media organizations and did not authorize anyone to share them. According to the McCain Institute staff member’s testimony in the same litigation, Steele requested that the staff member meet with BuzzFeed, and that Steele neither requested nor prohibited the staff member from sharing the reports with BuzzFeed. Additionally, the staff member testified that Steele was aware that the staff member was furnishing Steele’s reports to The Washington Post. Steele told the OIG that he trusted the staff member to handle his reports discretely and that the staff member betrayed that trust. Steele explained that the staff member had spent his career handling sensitive intelligence. Steele also said he understood from a former Ambassador that Senator McCain requested that Steele trust the staff member. Steele said he was “absolutely flabbergasted” when BuzzFeed published his election reports.
Whoever told the truth about Steele’s wishes, McCain’s torpedo, “known to be David J. Kramer,” Breitbart reported, passed the dossier to Buzzfeed.
“Kramer revealed in previous testimony that he held a meeting about the dossier with a reporter from BuzzFeed News,” Breitbart reported, “who he says snapped photos of the controversial document without Kramer’s permission when he left the room to go to the bathroom. That meeting was held at the McCain Institute office in Washington, Kramer stated.”
Other IG Revelations
Another of the IG’s revelations about McCain, Breitbart reported last week, was his passing reports from Steele to FBI director James Comey after the FBI dropped Steele as a source.
“Several weeks later, on December 9, 2016,” the report says, “McCain provided Comey with a collection of 16 Steele election reports, 5 of which Steele had not given the FBI. McCain had obtained these reports from a staff member at the McCain Institute. The McCain Institute staff member had met with Steele and later acquired the reports from [Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn] Simpson.”
Amazingly, Comey confessed that Steele’s information did not support the applications for surveilling Trump’s campaign:
According to Comey, the inclusion of the Steele election reporting as an appendix to the [Intelligence Community Assessment] was not a value judgment about the quality of the information. Instead, it reflected the relatively uncorroborated and incomplete status of the FBI’s assessment. Comey told the OIG that the Steele election reporting was “not ripe enough, mature enough, to be in a finished intelligence product.”
And that’s not all the IG found: “We identified at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications.”
Attorney General Bill Barr summarized the report’s findings this way:
The evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory…. In the rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance of Trump campaign associates, FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source.
Yet Page and Trump became the target of the Russia collusion probe, partly thanks to McCain.
“Anyone who doesn’t like it can go to hell,” McCain said.
R. Cort Kirkwood is a long-time contributor to The New American and a former newspaper editor.
Courtesy of The New American