In a recent interview, veteran journalist Bob Woodward reportedly disclosed that, despite the frantic media coverage that dominated the Trump administration concerning the so-called ‘Russia Gate’ scandal, Washington Post writers mostly ignored his warnings about the deficiencies of the notorious Christopher Steele dossier.
Jeff Gerth interviewed media and political players involved in Russiagate including Donald Trump himself in a comprehensive investigation for Columbia Journalism Review.
The work focused on where the media went wrong in its credulous acceptance of many of the claims it contained.
Woodward, a Washington Post reporter famed for revealing the Watergate scandal, told Gerth that the coverage had cheated viewers and readers.
Woodward focused much of his ire on The Steele dossier in particular.
The Clinton campaign funded and circulated a series of memos by ex-British spy Christopher Steele containing unproven allegations of Trump-Russia collusion to defeat Hillary Clinton.
The dossier also contained unsubstantiated rumors about a salacious sex tape involving Trump in Russia.
BuzzFeed News published its full contents in January 2017, a move for which it received a significant amount of criticism.
Shortly before Trump took office, then-FBI Director James Comey briefed him on the contents of the 35-page file.
The information was also supplied to then-President Barack Obama, who was uncritically reported on by numerous left-wing media characters who became enthusiastic proponents of the Russiagate conspiracy.
It was also used by the FBI to secure a surveillance warrant for former Trump advisor Carter Page, which Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., read into the Congressional Record.
Years later, the Washington Post was obliged to provide extensive corrections to many Steele dossier-related items.
The Steele dossier is now largely regarded discredited, and media outlets that gave it credence have come under fire from critics.
The prosecution of Steele sub-source Igor Danchenko in the John Durham investigation for lying to the FBI — he was subsequently acquitted — showed how one of his sources was veteran Democratic consultant and outspoken Clinton supporter Charles Dolan.
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