Reporter Sara Carter published an interesting piece this week about CNN and their role in exposing the infamous Steele Dossier to the world. Carter noted that CNN took home a prestigious prize at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner this weekend for their reporting on the dossier, but there was no talk at the dinner about the unethical means they used to get that reporting to the American people. Specifically, it went without mention that one of their sources – former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper – is now a paid analyst for the cable network.
Was this an arrangement made before Clapper spoke to Jake Tapper about the content of the dossier? Was there a quid pro quo here?
These questions are being ignored by the news media. Partially because they draw a much different story from the James Comey memos, which indicate that the reason Comey briefed President-elect Trump on the dossier was because he had heard that CNN was getting ready to run with the story.
But that doesn’t make a lot of sense, because CNN USED the briefing as a pretense to run the story. They didn’t just find the dossier that day. They’d had it in their possession for weeks, if not longer. It was only because Comey briefed the president and Trump on its contents that they felt comfortable enough to report this piece of political propaganda as news.
So why, really, did Comey feel that he needed to take this information to Trump Tower last January?
Well, one reason may be that he was told by his boss, Clapper, that CNN was working up a story. If that’s the case, it would mean that Clapper was working on background with CNN, and CNN told him they needed some kind of “hook” to make the dossier seem legit. One way to do that: Have Clapper (or a convenient fall guy like Comey) brief the president-elect on its contents. That way, CNN could run the story without taking any heat for its obviously fictitious contents. And why would Clapper agree to such an arrangement? Perhaps because he was looking for a cushy TV job after his time in the federal government was over.
Carter spoke to one U.S. intelligence official who thought the entire situation was a disgrace.
“Clapper was already in bed with CNN months before he was hired and while he was the DNI,” the official said. “It’s unbelievable that a senior official would leak this type of disinformation to destroy an incoming president. If it would have been anyone else, he’d be prosecuted. Instead, they get a high paid position to the company they leaked to and retain their security clearance. Banana Republic?”