In March 2017, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow invited Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) onto her show to talk Russia. She noted that in a House hearing, Schiff had cited the 35-page dossier of memorandums compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Ever since that document had burst into national politics — and surfaced on the BuzzFeed website in January 2017 — Maddow had closely monitored its reception.
Each time she addressed the dossier, she was careful to alert viewers that it was unverified. But she had espied some developments that appeared to support the dossier’s nitty-gritty. So she asked Schiff: “When you cited … that dossier, should we stop describing that as an uncorroborated dossier? Has some of the information of that been corroborated?”
Schiff sidestepped the question.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz did not. Over a nearly two-year investigation released on Dec. 9, Horowitz and a team of investigators reviewed at least a million records, interviewed more than 100 individuals and otherwise probed the actions of the FBI and the Justice Department in the Russia investigation. In so doing, they reached an answer to Maddow’s question.
Claims in the 35-page dossier fell into three pails, according to the report: “The FBI concluded, among other things, that although consistent with known efforts by Russia to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections, much of the material in the Steele election reports, including allegations about Donald Trump and members of the Trump campaign relied upon in the Carter Page FISA applications, could not be corroborated; that certain allegations were inaccurate or inconsistent with information gathered by the Crossfire Hurricane team; and that the limited information that was corroborated related to time, location and title information, much of which was publicly available.”
The Horowitz team didn’t attempt an independent fact-check of the dossier, opting instead to report what the FBI had concluded about the document. Unflattering revelations pop up at every turn in the 400-page-plus report. It reveals that the CIA considered it a hodgepodge of “internet rumor”; that the FBI considered one of its central allegations — that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen had traveled to Prague for a collusive meeting with Russians — “not true”; that Steele’s sources weren’t quite a crack international spy team. After the 2016 election, for instance, Steele directed his primary source to seek corroboration of the claims. “According to [an FBI official], during an interview in May 2017, the Primary Sub-source said the corroboration was ‘zero,’” reads the report.
The ubiquity of Horowitz’s debunking passages suggests that he wanted the public to come away with the impression that the dossier was a flabby, hasty, precipitous, conclusory charade of a document. Viewers of certain MSNBC fare were surely blindsided by the news, if they ever even heard it.
Name a host on cable news who has dug more deeply into Trump-Russia than MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. She’s read hundreds, maybe thousands, of court filings; she’s read the plume of literature on Russia-Trump; and she’s out with a new book on the bane of petro-states: “Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth.”
As part of her Russianist phase, Maddow became a clearinghouse for news increments regarding the dossier. Just days after BuzzFeed published the dossier in its entirety, she reported on the frustration of congressional Democrats with then-FBI Director James B. Comey, who was declining to divulge whether his people had opened an investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.
Director Comey refused to answer my question about whether the FBI has investigated Trump campaign contacts with Russia
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) January 10, 2017
Sorting through the silence from the FBI and the unverified claims in the dossier, Maddow riffed on her Jan. 13, 2017, program: “I mean, had the FBI looked into what was in that dossier and found that it was all patently false, they could tell us that now, right?” said Maddow. “I mean, the dossier has now been publicly released. If the FBI looked into it and they found it was all trash, there’s no reason they can’t tell us that now. They’re not telling us that now. They’re not saying that. They’re not saying anything.”
That line of analysis has gained some important context via the Horowitz report. The FBI did, in fact, find “potentially serious problems” with Steele’s reporting as early as January 2017. A source review in March 2017 “did not make any findings that would have altered that judgment.”
It was dossier season, in any case, for Maddow.
In March 2017, the host glommed onto recent reporting by CNN and the New Yorker to the effect that U.S. authorities had confirmed that “some of the conversations described in the dossier took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier,” according to CNN.
I have stated before and I repeat; I made a mistake. I have held the opinion that, fearing what they would find, the FBI never tried to verify any of the dossier information. I based this on the fact that the dossier fell apart so easily and quickly that the FBI couldn’t have made any attempt to confirm it. My mistake was applying any level of integrity to those conducting this seditious investigation and attack on Trump; that at the very least, they would have maintained “plausible deniability” in order to keep using such a weak foundation to sustain their investigation.
They didn’t even have that. They KNEW the dossier was trash, just as they knew their investigation was trash.
Maddow, we know, has no integrity and never even tries to pretend he does. He cowers behind a fortress of liberal media protection as he lies. Fortunately, OAN has taken him to court for some of those lies. And what is the defense in court? Why, this is Maddow and MSNBC; who DOESN’T know they are lying when their lips are moving? Now, THAT’S integrity!
So in his twisted conspiracy poisoned brain that means it was true every word of it, gospel.
And the Ukrain/Biden corruption is Russian disinformation and Russia has turned Gabbard, and the only ones that see the truth and can put 2 and 2 together and follow the dots…her, Hillary and Greg. Now they have started in the UK where the new PM is a Russian agent. But China is our friend and mass migration is a conspiracy, George Soros is only a boogeyman you jew hating bigoted racists. Epstien committed suicide dammit!
She is off her med’s again better send her to Sick Bay
Once the main source for the dossier came out and admitted he MADE IT UP OVER BEERS, what point is there in defending it any longer?
It was a work of fiction that riffed off of internet rumors as well as anti-Trump media articles filled with “fake news.”
Hillary was desperate to slime Trump because it was easier than getting out and campaigning herself.
That her fictional work ended up as the basis for a FISA warrant is proof who Deep State works for.
The only truth is how sincerely those on the Left (including Maddow) were wishing and hoping it was true.
Their ploy was to repeat the lie often, hoping it would at least be taken as truth.
Because not everyone is aware of this yet. The liberal media still lies about it and until the vast majority is aware that their entire campaign against Trump is based on lies, they will keep using the lies they’ve invested most in.
Maddow and the rest of the liars will lie as long as they can get away with it… and they are policing themselves.