While some in the liberal mainstream media have treated the recently leaked “dossier” on Trump’s alleged connections to and control by Russian interests as received truth, the fact remains that the document is unverified, despite media organizations having spent weeks attempting to validate its outrageous claims. Rather that finding it credible, the opposite has happened. Time and again, point by point, the “dossier” has been shown to have glaring falsehoods.
Even BuzzFeed — which reported on the “dossier” and published the full 35-page leaked document after CNN broke the “story” — has had to admit that it has serious problems, saying:
It is not just unconfirmed: It includes some clear errors. The report misspells the name of one company, “Alpha Group,” throughout. It is Alfa Group. The report says the settlement of Barvikha, outside Moscow, is “reserved for the residences of the top leadership and their close associates.” It is not reserved for anyone, and it is also populated by the very wealthy.
Besides the misspellings and factual errors, the document is rife with such poor grammar formatting, a high school teacher would be forced to either return the document as incomplete or give it a failing grade. Furthermore, the “dossier” accuses Aleksej Gubarev and his company XBT Holding of “using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct ‘altering operations’ against the Democratic Party leadership.” (A botnet is a group of Internet-connected computers often used to send spam e-mails or conduct other hacking operations.) Again, as before, the claim of the report lacks anything resembling evidence, and is — in fact — contradicted by facts.
According to a report by McClatchy, Gubarev, a Russian venture capitalist and tech expert, claims to operate 75,000 servers around the world and employs technology to provide real-time information reports in the event of any hacking or illicit activity on any of those servers. He says there has been no evidence of such activity. “I don’t know why I was there [in the report],” Gubarev said, adding that perhaps one of his competitors was attempting to discredit him. Gubarev continued: “I still don’t understand the true reason for this report.”
At this point, any objective person who has taken a hard look at the wild claims in the report would be compelled to either share Gubarev’s confusion over “the true reason for this report” or conclude that it is a classic example of disinformation. As The New American reported previously, anonymous members of the Internet messageboard and imageboard 4Chan claimed to have created the claims in the document — at least the salacious claims of bizarre sexual misbehavior by President-elect Trump while visiting Moscow — out of thin air, as a prank.
Adding to the mounting doubt of the veracity of the alleged “dossier” as well as confirming suspicions that the intelligence community is guilty of political motivations in its decision to append the less-than-reliable document to its official report, Gubarev told McClatchy that no one in the intelligence community has ever contacted him to verify the claims of the document. “I have a physical office in Dallas. Nobody contacted me,” he said.
Gubarev’s name is misspelled in the “dossier” as “Aleksei GUBAROV.” The document claims:
[REDACTED] reported that over the period March-September 2016 a company called XBT/Webzilla and its affiliates had been using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant hugs, steal data and conduct “altering operations" against the Democratic Party leadership. Entities linked to one Aleksei GUBAROV were involved and he and another hacking expert, both recruited under duress by the FSB, Seva KAPSUGOVICH, were significant players in this operation. in Prague. COHEN agreed contingency plans for various scenarios to protect the Operation, but in particular what was to be done in the event that Hillary CLINTON won the presidency. It was important in this event that all cash payments owed were made quickly and discreetly and that cyber and other operators were stood down/able to go effectively to ground to cover their traces. (We reported earlier that the involvement of political operatives Paul MANAFORT and Carter PAGE in the secret TRUMP- Kremlin liaison had been exposed in the media in the run-up to Prague and that damage limitation of these also was discussed by COHEN with the Kremlin representatives).
Besides the fact that Gubarev says no one from the intelligence community ever contacted him about his alleged participation in a global conspiracy to hack the servers of the DNC and Clinton campaign, he also told McClatchy that he had not been threatened or blackmailed by the FSB, the Russian intelligence-agency successor to the KGB. McClatchy goes on to report:
Gubarev’s Facebook page shows his wife, Anna Gubareva, and him on the bow rail of a fast-moving luxury yacht. His profile picture shows him behind the wheel of a vintage convertible Citroen. He is the public face of a number of tech companies around the globe.
This is hardly the image of a man who was “recruited under duress” by Russian intelligence.
Furthermore, the “COHEN” named in the report is purportedly Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen. But there is a serious problem with that. Michael Cohen was never in Prague when all of these cloak-and-dagger meetings were supposed to be taking place between him and the shadowy FSB agents. In fact, he has never been to Prague. As Trump made very clear in his press conference on Wednesday:
I said, "I want to see your passport." He brings his passport to my office. I say, hey, wait a minute. He didn't leave the country. He wasn't out of the country. They had Michael Cohen of the Trump Organization was in Prague. It turned out to be a different Michael Cohen. It's a disgrace what took place. It's a disgrace and I think they ought to apologize to start with Michael Cohen.
Before Trump made his remarks on the topic, his incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer, told the assembled media:
The fact that BuzzFeed and CNN made the decision to run with this unsubstantiated claim is a sad and pathetic attempt to get clicks. The report is not an intelligence report, plain and simple. One issue that the report talked about was the relationship of three individuals associated with the campaign. These three individuals; Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and Carter Page.
Carter Page is an individual who the president-elect does not know and was put on notice months ago by the campaign. Paul Manafort has adamantly denied any of this involvement and Michael Cohen, who is said to have visited Prague in August and September did not leave or enter the United States during this time. We asked him to produce his passport to confirm his whereabouts on the dates in question and there was no doubt that he was not in Prague.
In fact, Mr. Cohen has never been in Prague. A new report actually suggests that Michael Cohen was at — at the University of Southern California with his son at a baseball game. One report now suggested apparently it's another Michael Cohen. For all the talk lately about fake news, this political witch hunt by some in the media is based on some of the most flimsy reporting and is frankly shameful and disgraceful.
Considering the following points, it is difficult to draw any other conclusion than that the intelligence community deliberately used a document that is fraudulent on its face in a politically motivated disinformation campaign for the purpose of either keeping Trump out of the White House or at the very least deligitimizing his presidency from the start.
• Aleksej Gubarev, who is supposed to have been “recruited under duress” by the FSB as a “hacking expert” to run a botnet operation to hack the DNC and Clinton campaign, was never even contacted by intelligence agents.
• Trump associates Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and Carter Page, who were supposed to have handled all the heavy lifting in Trump’s dirty deal with Russian intelligence, deny having done so and the intelligence community has provided no proof that they did.
• Michael Cohen has proved — by his passport — that he was not even out of the country at the time the report claims he was meeting with Trump’s FSB handlers; in fact, Cohen has never been to Prague.
Even a cursory investigation by any low-level agent of the intelligence organizations involved in this fiasco would have shown them that there is nothing to this document. Instead, the closest any intelligence official has come to admitting that it is a fraud is when Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted that the “document is not a U.S. Intelligence Community product” and that the intelligence community “has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable.” Of course, this concession falls short.
It’s time for the intelligence community to admit what is obvious: If there were anything to this supposed scandal, the media — who has spent weeks trying to find a sliver of validity in it — would have verified it by now, even if the intelligence community didn’t bother trying. Instead, media organization after media organization has made statements similar to what McClatchy wrote in the report linked above, “McClatchy had the report earlier but couldn’t verify any of its allegations.”