The liberal Newsweek had this op-ed on 12 January 2017* asking us not to dismiss the now-discredited Trump dossier published by BuzzFeed. The author seems to think that since Trump has not responded to that salacious dossier or since Trump team “minimizes what Russia did” that could only mean that the Russians have “something” on Trump.
The author goes on to request that “President Obama should share with the public the information the FBI has to date on the Dirty Dossier and that Trump should explain the full extent of his ties with the Kremlin and influential Russians,” as summarized by the photo caption.
DOES PUTIN HAVE SOMETHING ON TRUMP? OBAMA SHOULD TELL US
BY EVELYN FARKAS ON 1/12/17 AT 4:43 PM
The mainstream press is correct to be cautious about the private sector opposition campaign research dossier posted on the internet by BuzzFeed.
However, journalists and the world should not dismiss it entirely of hand. There are some things in it that are plausible—the internal Kremlin debate about their intelligence operation, why Putin’s chief of staff was suddenly fired and other items that ring true to those of us who have read intelligence reports on Russia.
And clearly the intelligence community wanted the president-elect to take at least the existence of this report, if not its content, seriously. (…)
Donald Trump has been dismissing the threat posed by Russia to U.S. elections, to our democracy and even to him from the moment he entered the campaign for president. He hasn’t stopped dismissing the serious Russian intelligence and information operations against the American people, even after his election and practically on the eve of his inauguration. (…)
A billboard with pictures of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Danilovgrad, Montenegro, on November 16. Evelyn Farkas writes that President Obama should share with the public the information the FBI has to date on the Dirty Dossier and that Trump should explain the full extent of his ties with the Kremlin and influential Russians. STEVO VASILJEVIC/REUTERS]
They minimize what Russia did, pointing out that the United States also hacks or spies, which is true, but they fail to add that our government has never operationalized and attacked a democratic state’s election process.
They have resorted to claiming that since the Russian operation has had no proven effect on the actual vote tally, we should move along, leaving aside the fact that the information from the hacks did contribute to the presidential campaign debates and political environment.
The U.S. intelligence officials—no jokers—decided that the matter was serious enough to warn Trump. Whether the information is partly true, all true, partly false or all false, the dossier, compiled by a former British intelligence officer as part of opposition political research on Donald Trump, cannot simply be dismissed. Indeed, it seems unlikely that is was entirely fabricated, because the intelligence community chose to forward it to Donald Trump and we haven’t heard a disavowal of it from them.
Their silence, for now, could indicate there is something to it.
Leaving aside the most salacious parts of the report on Trump, since the summer reporters have been writing about and investigating links between Trump’s staff, the Kremlin and Russia’s sharing of hacked American documents with WikiLeaks. They are seeking to find the truth on behalf of the rest of us.
So, I will repeat what I have written elsewhere: We need President Obama to share with the public the information the FBI has to date on this issue, and we need President-elect Trump to explain the full extent of his ties with the Kremlin and influential Russians.
Evelyn Farkas is a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia from 2012 to 2015, and executive director, Graham-Talent WMD Commission and has served almost 20 years divided equally between the executive and legislative branches of government