It’s a story that will not go away, possibly because I love it so much, and I want to keep coming back to it. It’s long past wondering whether Donald Trump paid prostitutes to pee on a bed in a Moscow hotel. It’s to the point we have Justice Department lawyers in a full-court press trying to unravel just how much involvement the Trump campaign had with Russian operatives bent on impacting the 2016 election. Almost every day there is a new headline. Here are two, starting with The New York Times yesterday:
Trevor Noah Thinks Paul Manafort Got Mixed Up With the Wrong Crowd
As the special investigator Robert Mueller presses on with his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign, reports have surfaced that Paul Manafort, then the Trump campaign chairman, offered to privately brief a Russian billionaire on the status of his primary campaign. Trevor Noah doesn’t think there’s any way to put a positive spin on that one.
“Manafort offered to brief a Russian oligarch on the campaign that he was running for Trump. Now, does that prove he did anything wrong? No, but ask yourself this: When has the phrase ‘Russian oligarch’ ever been a good thing? It’s like the phrase ‘a cappella concert,’ or ‘unmarked van,’ or ‘homemade condom.’” — TREVOR NOAH
Trevor Noah, of course, is not a news reporter. He’s a comedian pulling to his radio and TV audience. But this is an indicator as to how far this story has seeped into the daily conversation. Of more immediate interest is the infamous Steel dossier, the tale of which continues to surface. From The New York Times last Tuesday
WASHINGTON — A U.S. Senate panel probing alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election abruptly canceled an interview with President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen on Tuesday after he issued a statement about his testimony in violation of committee policy.
The relevance crops up a few paragraphs in:
Cohen’s name surfaced in a dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele that reported Cohen played an important role in liaison with the Russian government and secretly met with Kremlin officials in Prague in August 2016.
The Steele dossier, Cohen said in his statement, was “riddled with falsehoods and intentionally salacious allegations.”
“I have never in my life been to Prague or to anywhere in the Czech Republic,” he said.
Current and former U.S. intelligence officials have said that while they cannot verify all the details in the Steele dossier, neither have they debunked it entirely.
To be sure, it is not what Michael Cohen did or did not do that is of much interest. What is of interest is whether this part of the Steele dossier has merit:
However, there were other aspects to TRUMP’s engagement with the Russian authorities. One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit TRUMP’s person obsessions and sexual perversion in order to obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (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.
Americans should rightly cast doubt on allegations that a candidate for our highest office would engage in such activities. Then too, it could have been a ploy by Donald Trump to make President James Buchanan look good.
The truth is out there, somewhere, but it may turn out to be not very interesting. It’s the search for truth that is the thing. And it’s a gas.
There will be more. Keep reading.