One of the most salacious details from the “Steele Dossier” on Donald Trump and Russia, written by a former top British spy, could actually be real, according to a U.S. senator.
In a Monday interview with BuzzFeed News editor-in-chief Ben Smith, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) suggested the so-called “pee tape” may explain Trump’s deference to Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.
BuzzFeed first published the Steele Dossier in January of 2017.
When asked if Putin “has anything” on Trump, Sen. Merkley said it was, “likely.”
“Your view is that the pee tape is real?” Smith asked.
“Something close to that,” Sen. Merkley replied. “Something close to that.”
Here is how Christopher Steele, a former top British intelligence officer, described what has become know as the “pee tape.”
“One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit TRUMP’S personal obsessions and sexual perversion in order to obtain suitable ‘kompromaf (compromising material) on him. According to Source D, where s/he had been present, Trump’s (perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew President and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ’golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him. The hotel was known to be under FSB control with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to,” the Steele Dossier explained.
“Speaking separately in June 2016, Source B (the former top level Russian intelligence officer) asserted that TRUMP’s unorthodox behavior in Russia over the years had provided the authorities there with enough embarrassing material on the now Republican presidential candidate to be able to blackmail him if they so
wished,” the report continued.
Trump is reportedly “obsessed” with the “pee tape” and lashed out against it as “fake news” hours after BuzzFeed published the intelligence file.
Re @BuzzFeedBen's exchange with @JeffMerkley this AM: that's Foreign Relations Committee member Jeff Merkley, who's also fresh off yet another trip to New Hampshire as he (Bernie Sanders' lone Senate endorser in '16) seriously considers running for POTUS in 2020…
— Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) July 16, 2018
Stefanik voters turning on GOP lawmaker after she threw away her credibility to defend Trump
Over the course of the impeachment hearings, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has gone from a relative backbencher who sells herself as a moderate to voters in Upstate New York, to a theatrical partisan grandstanding for President Donald Trump and a top target of ire from Democrats.
But according to Politico, at least some of her voters appear turned off by her new stance.
"While Stefanik once able to strike a delicate balance between her Republican identity and her positions on issues like climate change, some think those earlier convictions are gone, like Phillip Paige, a former Stefanik backer and a member of SUNY Potsdam’s College Republicans," wrote Politico's Anna Gronewald. "A native of the 21st district’s Madrid, New York, Paige said he started to lose faith in Stefanik when she began supporting Trump as the party’s nominee in 2016. Paige supported John Kasich’s candidacy in that election. 'A lot of her boots-on-the-ground young Republican crowd has really become quite disillusioned,' he said. 'We saw her as what we thought the future of the Republican Party was and that really has been disproven. Unless, maybe the future of the Republican party is Donald Trump.'"
DOJ employees urged to revolt against Bill Barr for throwing IG report ‘in the trash’ to defend Trump
On MSNBC's "AM Joy," former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne excoriated Attorney General William Barr for his partisan suppression of the inspector general's conclusions about the FBI's Russia investigation.
"Here's the problem. The inspector general has already found that the — the investigation was not motivated in the way that Bill Barr is saying it is, and he's directly taking all the work of all the people and he's throwing it in the trash," said Alksne. "And he's added this other layer of an investigation and now he's broken all the rules, because one of the rules in an investigation is you don't talk about it in the middle, and he's done that. And it's a very threatening thing to the person who did the initial investigation, and it's also a way of putting his thumb on the scale with the guy who's doing the followup investigation, [U.S. Attorney John] Durham. He was talked into issuing a press release that was completely improper."
GOP ridiculed for hyping Ohio anti-impeachment protest — and only a handful of Trump supporters showed
The official Twitter of account of the Republican National Committee was buried in mockery after hyping up a video of anti-impeachment protesters in Youngstown, Ohio, where it appears only a handful of people showed up.
According to the tweet, "Ohioans are sick and tired of the Democrats’ impeachment charade. It’s time to STOP THE MADNESS!"
However, in the video from WKBN, which can be seen below, few people chose to show up for the cameras.
As one commenter noted with tongue-in-cheek, "Thought Ohio had a few more people than that."
That was the general consensus in the comments.