For a few hours, the media was buzzing about a story reporting the Russians had compromising information on Donald Trump.
The story ended up being fake news, but the story about how it got injected into the media’s bloodstream infuriated conservatives.
One of Trump’s most ardent critics – Senator John McCain – was the saboteur behind the media’s hatchet job.
CNN reported the Russians had compromising information on Trump based on a political opposition research memo put together by a former British intelligence agent who first worked for Trump’s political opponents and then the Democrats.
The document eventually made its way up the government food chain to FBI Director James Comey.
Officials who were already set to brief President-elect Trump on the allegations of Russia meddling in the 2016 election prepared a two-page synopsis of the memo and were planning to use it during the briefing as an example of “disinformation”.
But they never used the information contained in the memo during the briefing.
One of the strangest details from the initial CNN report, however, was that John McCain had presented the memo to FBI Director James Comey in December.
“CNN has also learned that on December 9, Senator John McCain gave a full copy of the memos — dated from June through December, 2016 — to FBI Director James Comey. McCain became aware of the memos from a former British diplomat who had been posted in Moscow. But the FBI had already been given a set of the memos compiled up to August 2016, when the former MI6 agent presented them to an FBI official in Rome, according to national security officials.”
McCain confirmed he passed the dossier along.
The Hill reports:
“Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says he delivered a dossier to FBI Director James Comey late last year containing unverified claims that Russia had gathered compromising information on President-elect Donald Trump.
“Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public,” McCain said in a statement on Wednesday. “Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgement about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI. That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue.”
The statement comes on the heels of reports that President Obama, Trump and congressional leaders were briefed on the allegations made in the dossier.”
McCain – the failed 2008 GOP nominee – was an adversary to Trump during the Republican primary.
McCain favors open borders and endless foreign wars while Trump favors a secure border and restrained American foreign policy.
And McCain disowned Trump after the Access Hollywood tape of Trump making lewd comments leaked in October.
Some speculated this act of betrayal by McCain was to get revenge on Trump for his comments about McCain during the campaign.
By passing the unverified opposition research on to the FBI, McCain lent his credibility as a United States Senator and former Presidential candidate to the allegations.
He fanned the flames of this fake news story that was designed to smear Trump and sow doubts in the minds of Americans about his ability to conduct his affairs in office.
But just like his Presidential campaign, McCain’s scheme to participate in the smearing of Donald Trump failed miserably.