Igor Danchenko passed on bogus information about Donald Trump to ex-spy Steele.

POLITICS: The Steele dossier’s tawdry, absurd and fake ‘sources’

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We’ve known for some time, thanks to the efforts of special counsel John Durham, that the Steele dossier was a Clinton-camp fabrication. 

Now we know why the allegations it contained were so lurid, clumsy and (to anyone with an iota of sense) obviously fake.

A Wall Street Journal deep dive reveals that Steele’s central charges were based on idle gossip. Not from intel-community insiders with vast source networks. No: from a trio of unremarkable hacks with zero insight into covert affairs, whose only real connections were to Clinton World. 

What an embarrassment for the countless reporters and TV personalities who talked up this tawdry nonsense from total outsiders as a democracy-saving scoop. And for the FBI, which took Steele so seriously.

The nonentities were: Dem stalwart and PR man Charles Dolan Jr.; Olga Galkina, paid flack of a Russian tech entrepreneur; and the primary “researcher” on the dossier, Igor Danchenko. 

Dolan — the apparent source for, among other fantasies, the tale of Trump cavorting with prostitutes at a Moscow hotel — was shocked that some of his chatter was published and reported on as fact. “I’m hoping that this is exposed as fake news,” he reportedly wrote mere hours after the dossier saw the light of day 

Galkina, a school buddy of Danchenko’s, came up with the totally bogus storylines about first Carter Page and then Michael Cohen serving as Donald Trump’s Kremlin cutouts — and helped drag her employer, Aleksey Gubarev, into the muck by alleging with no real evidence that he and his company had aided Internet attacks against Hillary Clinton. 

Igor Danchenko passed on bogus information about Donald Trump to ex-spy Steele.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Danchenko, now under indictment for lying to the FBI, passed on these “findings” orally to British ex-spy James Bond Christopher Steele (who’d forbidden him to write notes). Steele then ran with it all, as he (or the Fusion GPS sleaze merchants who’d hired him, after Clinton lawyer Marc Elias hired them) claimed it all came from his supposed Russian sources or, alternately, sources close to Trump. (Steele doesn’t speak Russian, by the way.)

Top FBI officials used it as the basis for spying on the Trump campaign; intelligence-community bigs at least pretended to take it seriously. This, when Director of National Intelligence John Brennan had briefed President Barack Obama in July 2016 of the Clinton campaign’s intention to fake a Trump-Russia scandal. Did they never warn the FBI?

Yet breathless scribes at The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, New York magazine and elsewhere hyped this nonsense for months, all taken in (most, willfully) by the equivalent of catty junior-high whisper campaigns. Some still can’t let go.

Russiagate, in short, was the scandal of a generation — a media and government one.



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