The Russian dossier that was leaked by Buzzfeed last month is back in the spotlight after some U.S. investigators are saying that they have corroborated aspects of the 35-page document.
The initial report and document leak led to a press conference where the president called Buzzfeed “a failing pile of garbage.” He stated that the information “was false and fake and never happened.”
CNN reported Friday that U.S. investigators have confirmed aspects of the dossier, though none are related to the more racy parts of the document like the suggestion that President Trump hired Russian prostitutes to perform urinary sex acts.
The investigators have confirmed that conversations referenced in the document took place “between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations,” though they stressed that they “have not corroborated the more salacious things” in the text.
When CNN reached out to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to ask about the development, he responded “we continue to be disgusted by CNN’s fake news reporting.”
Spokespeople for the branches of the government that may be involved in researching the validity of the dossier would not comment on the investigation.
The dossier became a bit of a test within the inside world of Washington, D.C. journalism as it was unsubstantiated and, though most beltway journalists were aware of its existence, it was seen by some as weak journalism to report on the document. In their own report, CNN highlighted the fact that they did not report on the “salacious allegations.”
Many in the media were critical of the initial leak of the document, given its unsubstantiated nature. CNN’s original report did not include the document, which had been floating around Washington insiders before being reported on, and instead reported on the briefing both the then-President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump had about the allegations.
Buzzfeed chose to share the document with their readers.
The dossier, compiled by an ex-MI6 agent, was commissioned by Trump opponents during the campaign.
Many, including the media, have been skeptical of Trump’s relationship with the Russian government and its leader Vladimir Putin. The FBI has investigated his previous campaign manager Paul Manafort over ties with the Russian government. There are also reports that Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn was speaking with the Russian ambassador before Trump was sworn into office, raising eyebrows with ethics and legal experts as Flynn was technically a citizen at the time and not a sworn-in member of the government.