Trump Wants to Know: 'Are We Living in Nazi Germany?'
Donald Trump didn't waste time drafting a statement on CNN's report that U.S. intelligence had briefed him and President Obama on the existence of a dossier that claims the Russian government has compromising information on the president-elect, nor did he waste time drafting a statement on Buzzfeed's publication of what is alleged to be that dossier. Instead, the man who will become president in nine days posted a series of angry tweets.
Tuesday night he called it "FAKE NEWS" and a "WITCH HUNT":
FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
He also tweeted an article from a right wing website that called the crippling information "Fake News."
Wednesday morning Trump went into a rage, rapidly tweeting his all-caps outrage:
Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is "A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE." Very unfair!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
I win an election easily, a great "movement" is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Naturally, Trump is using the leaked dossier, which has been floating around the intelligence, political, and journalism communities since last summer, to attack his political opponents, and U.S. intelligence agencies.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also denied the validity of the dossier, or that it has any compromising information on Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday morning. Peskov, who serves as Vladimir Putin's press secretary, called the report an “absolute fabrication,” “pulp fiction,” and a “clear attempt to damage our bilateral relations.”
Curiously, almost in a tongue-in-cheek statement, Peskov also used Trump's own words. “Truly, there are those who whip up this hysteria, who will break their necks to support this ‘witch hunt,’” he claimed.
The information in the 35-page dossier itself, if true, is crippling and disqualifying.
Hours before CNN and Buzzfeed published their reports, FBI Director James Comey, in what could be considered the most ironic and hypocritical statement of the year, told a Democratic Senator the FBI would never discuss whether or not it is involved in an investigation.
It's important to note that Trump's claim he won the election "easily" is false, and neither Buuzzfeed's nor CNN's reports are "fake news." Fake news is the publication of purely or mostly fictional stories, claiming they are true. CNN has reported well-sourced information, attributing its sources, and Buzzfeed made very clear it had not verified the validity of the dossier.
UPDATE I: 8:31 AM EST –
A Daily Beast reporter just posted this tweet:
UPDATE II: 8:35 AM EST –
Fox News published quote from Peskov, which anyone in the intelligence community would likely say is false:
"Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin insisted that the Kremlin 'does not engage in collecting compromising material.'"