CNN is reporting that Russia has “compromising personal and financial information” about President-elect Donald Trump, claiming that a summary of the source document was presented to Trump during Friday’s intelligence briefing.
There has been no verification of any of the claims in the dossier, which putatively came from a former British intelligence agent, and the allegations were said to be so explosive that the summary memo itself was only shared with a handful of top officials and deliberately excluded from even classified reports on Russia’s election hacking.
The dossier claimed several figures in the Trump campaign were in league with the Russian government during the campaign, and that Russia had been conspiring with them to groom Trump as an ally for “at least five years.” It also claims exchanges of information between Trump and the Kremlin for “at least eight years,” meaning the ties would’ve gone back as far as the last year of the Bush Administration. The dossier names former Trump adviser Carter Page, his personal lawyer Michael Cohen, as well as incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as having personally and repeatedly met with Kremlin officials on anti-Clinton leaks. No evidence of any of this happening exists.
The summary memo that Trump was reportedly presented with did not detail the dirt Russia had on him, but the dossier itself claims multiple sex tapes as the substantive part of it. This included a claim that Trump went out of his way during a 2013 visit to Moscow to rent out the presidential suite in the Ritz Carlton, knowing that the Obamas had stayed there, with an eye toward “defiling” the bed they’d slept in. Russia’s top intelligence agency, the FSB, reportedly had multiple concealed cameras and microphones in the room at the time.
While this was the most explicit individual allegation, the dossier also claimed Trump had repeatedly gone to Moscow and St. Petersberg on business and “had to settle for the use of extensive sexual services from the local prostitutes rather than business success.” It further alleges Trump not only held “wild sex parties” in St. Petersberg, but that officials had had the direct witnesses to such parties “silenced,” either bought off or coerced into leaving the city.
The dossier then quoted an alleged former Russian intelligence officer who claims that Trump’s “unorthodox behavior” over the years during his many visits to Russia had left them with more than enough dirt with which to blackmail the now president-elect.
The narrative on the anti-Hillary hacking is mostly the same as was presented by officials previously, though it included several details, including claims Russia is trying to move the international order back to 19th century “Great Powers” politics.
It also claimed Russia had a deal with Trump’s campaign to leak the DNC emails to WikiLeaks in return for Trump questioning US support for NATO, particularly in the Baltic states, with the idea Russia expected this to distract from Ukraine. They also alleged Russia routinely swapped dirt on Clinton with the Trump campaign in return for information the Trump team had gathered on Russian oligarchs and their families living in the United States.
The dossier insisted that Russia had repeatedly tried to bribe Trump with juicy real estate deals related to the 2018 World Cup, but Trump had “for reasons unknown” not accepted them. They also said Russia had decided not to publicize the dirt they had on Trump so far or directly threaten to blackmail them because they were getting such good voluntary cooperation.
The two-page summary memo of all these allegations, which included none of the details, was reportedly only shared with a handful of officials, though CNN speculated that this was the source of Sen. Harry Reid’s (D – NV) accusations that the FBI had “explosive” intelligence on Trump that they were withholding in the lead up to the vote.
Update: There is a claim circulating out of the 4chan board that the whole thing is a hoax. And the story is already falling apart: Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, who, according to the document, supposedly met with Russian officials in Prague, has apparently never been to Prague.