What is to be made of the news of a dossier suggesting Trump has deep and compromising ties to Russia? Much of the discussion seems to focus on an alleged honey trap (or, “kompromat,” as the Russians refer to it) that involved Trump and call girls and could be used for blackmail. It’s hard for me to understand how this might degrade his image, though. He already manifests a Berlusconi-like persona, so how damaging could a sex video really be? I think this focus simply reflects the predilection of media headlines for salacity. Far more damning are the allegations that the “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance” as noted in the summary opening of the original document.
Of course, Trump denies the dossier’s authenticity (what else would he do?), as does Russia. I think the most relevent question is, Is the author credible? He certainly seems to be. It would be great to chat him up a bit. Unfortunately, he’s currently in hiding. And, that’s a pretty smart thing to be if the document is bogus. It’s an even smarter thing to be if it’s not.
Here are various takes on the story. What do you think?
The story breaks in Mother Jones (October 31, 2016)
The Telegraph lists five main allegations of the dossier (Jan 11, 2016)
The New York Times talks about Christopher Steele (Jan 12, 2016)
The Sun talks about Christopher Steele (Jan 13, 2016)
Time talks about Christopher Steele (Jan 13, 2016)
The Los Angeles Times talks about Christopher Steele (Jan 15, 2016)