Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dexter Filkins appeared on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Tuesday to explain his bombshell new report in the New Yorker on the mysterious web traffic between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank in Russia.
Filkins explained how he wrote the story and “got to talk to the scientists who looked at the data, they wrote up a report, I have the report.”
“It took a long time, but I was able to kind of do a deep dive into this very vexing question,” he explained.
Maddow praised him for his “storytelling ability” trying to explain such a technical mystery.
“It wasn’t spam, it wasn’t malware, it wasn’t email. So what was it?” he wondered. The scientists “thought for instance, maybe it was something called ‘foldering,’ when you type a draft and you don’t send it, and then somebody else can sign on, read the draft, write another draft, you can read that.”
“So the email never goes anywhere?”
“It never goes, exactly,” he replied. “There is a DNS lookup, and it’s logged, and that’s of course the records we had.”
“Not so many fingerprints, but they do leave DNS records,” he noted.
“So the content of the communications remains the Holy Grail here?” Maddow wondered.
“If there were communications, this is just metadata,” he noted.
Filkins noted that if special counsel Robert Mueller has gathered more data, he would be able to identify the exact person who shut down the Trump server after The New York Times asked Alfa Bank’s DC lobbyist for comment on the arrangement.