Buzzfeed News released a dossier that claimed Donald Trump is being blackmailed by Putin, with evidence that Trump hired Russian prostitutes to urinate in front of him on a bed where Barack Obama previously slept in. The story published, however, is old and is another example of fake news.
U.S. officials told Reuters that four U.S. intelligence agencies received these documents and presented them to Trump and Obama last week, but the documents were unverified. Media organizations such as, The New York Times, Mother Jones and The Guardian received this story, but they decided not to publish the 35-page dossier because they could not confirm the allegations.
Ben Smith, editor-in-chief at BuzzFeed, explained why they released the story:
“Our presumption is to be transparent in our journalism and share what we have with our readers,” Smith wrote. “As we noted in our story, there is serious reason to doubt the allegations.”
Aside from the testimony presented by U.S. officials, the document contained misspellings throughout, along with factual errors.
In his first press conference in nearly six months, Trump addressed BuzzFeed’s decision to publish the story. He bluntly stated that “Buzzfeed which is a failing pile of garbage … will suffer the consequences.” And then, a bizarre exchange occurred between Trump and CNN reporter, Jim Acosta. Acosta shouted if he could ask a question, but Trump denied his request. “Not you,” Trump said. “Your organization is terrible.” Acosta continued to press Trump to answer his question, but he was turned down repeatedly. “I’m not going to give you a question,” Trump continued. “You are fake news.”
Watch the exchange below:
4Chan has taken responsibility for the false story sent to the CIA. On January 10, 2017, they explained how the story surfaced:
“>/pol/acks mailed fanfiction to anti-trump pundit Rick Wilson about trump making people piss on a bed obama slept in
>he thought it was real and gave it to the CIA
>the central intelligence agency of the united states of america put this in their official classified intelligence report on russian involvement in the election
>donald trump and obama have both read this pol/acks fanfiction
>the cia has concluded that the russian plans to blackmail trump with this story we made up
just let that sink in what we have become.”
At this point, it’s not confirmed who is responsible.