Conservative New York Times columnist Bret Stephens dismissed President Donald Trump’s supporters celebrating the news that Hillary Clinton funded the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, noting that much of the information in the dossier is true.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund the research in the dossier after it was initially financed by a donor for at least one of Trump’s Republican primary opponents.
Although previous reports had already confirmed that the Democrats helped fund the dossier, the new report revealed that the Clinton campaign directly funded the research, which campaign lawyer Marc Elias had adamantly denied.
Trump supporters have been giddy over the report, but in an appearance on MSNBC, Stephens threw cold water on their celebration.
“We have known for 25 years—since Bill Clinton told us he ‘didn’t inhale’—that every statement out of the mouth of the Clintons is a calculation and the truth is always optional,” Stephens said. “The issue here isn’t who paid for opposition research. The question is: Is it true?”
“Simply the fact that you lied about paying for it doesn’t discredit the potential validity of documents that are unsubstantiated but have not been contradicted,” he said.
Stephens noted that the firm behind the dossier, Fusion GPS, is run by Glenn Simpson, “a former journalist for the Wall Street Journal with an excellent reputation.”
“I have seen Fusion GPS documents in unrelated reporting, it’s a serious organization,” he said, adding that the Trump team “fears that at least parts of this dossier contain truth.”
“Christopher Steele was a well-regarded British spy, the idea that it’s all fake is classic Trump dissemble,” he said.
“Who paid for this is ultimately irrelevant,” he added.
As Stephens noted, while the most salacious detail of the dossier, alleging that the Russians had a tape of Trump during a golden shower incident with prostitutes in a hotel room previously used by the Obamas, a lot of the details in the dossier have since been confirmed.
The dossier said that Russia was behind the hack into DNC emails, a fact that has since been confirmed by virtually every intelligence agency in the United States.
The dossier also alleged that the Trump Organization was working to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, which was later revealed to be true.
The dossier also alleged that Russia offered the Trump campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, which Donald Trump Jr. later admitted himself as the reason he attended a meeting with a Kremlin-linked Russian attorney during the campaign.
“We’ve known for some time, at least it has been publicly reported, that the dossier –the hiring of Christopher Steele– was originally on behalf of one of the Republican candidates, and later on behalf of the Democratic candidate,” California Rep. Adam Schiff said in an appearance on MSNBC Tuesday. “This was the first confirmation of half of that. But it doesn’t really shed light where we need light shed — and that is: How much of what Mr. Steele found can be corroborated, how much of it is accurate.”
We’ve been working hard to answer that question, and that is really what the American people need to know. Indeed some of the dossier has been corroborated,” he added.