Roughly a month and a half after the 2016 presidential election, a close associate of the late Sen. John McCain funneled a fraudulent and thoroughly debunked dossier on then-President-elect Donald Trump to various members of the media, including Ken Bensinger of BuzzFeed News.
This and other revelations were unveiled at a court hearing this week involving a suit filed last year against BuzzFeed by Cyprus resident Aleksej Gubarev and his company XBT Holding alleging that the news publisher’s decision to publish the dossier in January 2017 had defamed them.
Lawyers press court for Buzzfeed to reveal Trump dossier source, argue ‘it’s not a real news site’ https://t.co/Yag5nzS3jH pic.twitter.com/qH2pLmOQJy
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) November 3, 2017
Though U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro ultimately ruled against Gubarev, arguing that BuzzFeed is protected by the fair reporting privilege, Wednesday’s proceedings did allow for the uncovering of new information regarding how the publisher got a hold of the dossier in the first place.
“BuzzFeed’s Ken Bensinger obtained the dossier from David Kramer, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova,” Variety reported, citing court documents from the hearing. “They met at the McCain Institute on Dec. 29, 2016.”
Their meeting at the McCain Institute was not incidental. It was McCain who had dispatched Kramer, a member of the institute, to obtain copies of the dossier roughly a month before the meeting.
Previous reports revealed that sometime in late 2016, former British diplomat Andrew Wood — a friend of British spy Christopher Steele, the man who compiled the dossier for the firm Fusion GPS — met with the Arizona senator to inform him of the contents of the since-discredited document.
Following the meeting, McCain reportedly dispatched Kramer to obtain the dossier directly from Fusion GPS. It’s what happened afterward that remains a bit murky.
“Kramer met Nov. 30, 2016, with McCain and McCain’s chief of staff, Christopher Brose, to review Steele’s reports,” The Daily Caller notes. “Kramer advised McCain to share the reports with the FBI and the CIA.”
The senator did exactly that.
John McCain just acknowledged that he gave the Trump dossier to the FBI late last year: pic.twitter.com/UXjwQejUBP
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 11, 2017
“Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public,” he wrote in a statement last year. “Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI.”
But Kramer reportedly took action as well, choosing to arrange a meeting with BuzzFeed. During that meeting, the dossier wound up in the hands of Bensinger.
“Kramer testified that Bensinger took photos of the Dossier when Kramer was out of the room, even though he asked Bensinger not to,” Ungaro wrote in her ruling, adding that “in a later declaration, Kramer stated that he had no objection to Bensinger taking a hard copy and had provided hard copies to other journalists.”
Long story short, McCain’s associate purposefully funneled the dossier to BuzzFeed and perhaps other media outlets as well. What remains unclear is whether he performed these actions voluntarily or under the direction of the Arizona senator.
It also remains unclear why the senator had been so focused on the dossier. An anonymous former national security official who spoke with The New Yorker earlier this year claimed the plan had been for McCain to confront Trump with the dossier and demand his resignation.
Combined, these revelations have served to only strengthen the late senator’s image as a virulently anti-Trump zealot who was willing to do anything to harm the president. He was, as argued by some on social media, a ” backstabbing selfish crapweasel.”
“So the phony dossier that created the bogus “Russian collusion” narrative was promoted by that backstabbing selfish crapweasel John McCain.”https://t.co/gHZ2wV8w7x
— Ordinary Citizen™ (@RoyPolloi) December 20, 2018
Well he’s a weasel and so were many in the Obama admin who helped to perpetrate this crime on the American people, but we all know that McCain had that dossier first. He betrayed this country like no other in American history. Him and his thumbs down. #CommiesInTheCastle
— Laura Marciano Gorleski (@ladyjanekane1) December 19, 2018
John McCain was a war hero. Dedicated his life for our country only to let all that go because of the hatred he had for Donald Trump. In my book he betrayed The will of the American people. Conservatives will remember him as the one that betrayed POTUS
— vw (@JulioGo764) December 20, 2018
Even if the Dossier were true leaking information to the Press is a Crime.
McCain was always a scumbag and his last act of scumbaggery was to after 7 years of campaigning on ending Obamacare he betrayed the American people just out of spite and bile.
— The Troll (@TheCityTroll) December 20, 2018
Confirmed: McCain Associate David Kramer Gave Junk Trump-Russia Pee-Pee Dossier to Jim Comey and Buzzfeed https://t.co/UNIL338kZl via @gatewaypundit
I TOLD YOU REPUBLICANS WERE INVOLVED IN THE TREASONOUS ACT…HE WANTED TRUMP OUT..HE HATED TRUMP..MCCAIN AND HILLARY???
— Anthony Russo (@Tony19542) December 20, 2018
I have followed this case very closely for 2 years now. I can guarantee you that John McCain did help pay for fake dossier and was involved in Deep State. I don’t care that you liked him. He wasn’t a good man. He hated Trump. I’ve read Graham involved as well.
— ItsComingAround (@ItsComingAround) December 19, 2018
The dossier was paid for by 2016 Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her allies at the Democrat National Committee.
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