(…) In the wake of the Durham revelations, the Washington Post has retracted or corrected sections of no fewer than 14 stories about Millian and the dossier. The Wall Street Journal, which first made the connection based on a single anonymous source in a January 2017 story by Pulitzer-winning reporter Mark Maremont, now concedes that the indictment raises “serious questions” about its reporting. ABC News, which aired a January 2017 story by former correspondent Brian Ross and producer Matthew Mosk identifying Millian as a key dossier source, said it is “reviewing” its reporting “in light of new developments.”
Corn, the Washington bureau chief for the leftist political magazine Mother Jones, and Isikoff, the chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News, were among the first journalists to press the Steele dossier in the media, starting in the fall of 2016. Answering critics on Twitter last month, Isikoff claimed he had disavowed the dossier years ago: “I already did, some time ago (before [Justice Department IG Michael] Horowitz and Durham),” referring to remarks he made to USA Today in 2018.
In that interview, Isikoff indicated blandly that some of the information he was fed was wrong, stating that some of the dossier’s “more sensational allegations are likely false.” He summed up the dossier as a “mixed record.” Now he knows for certain what he reported was incorrect and yet he has issued no corrections or mea culpas.
Isikoff once tweeted a link to his book “Russian Roulette” to President Trump, arguing “here is what is true, Mr. President.” Currently atop his Twitter page, Isikoff still has a pinned 2018 tweet thanking MSNBC host Rachel Maddow for helping propel the book to No. 1 on Amazon.
In an attempt to face up to his own part in pushing the dossier fables, Corn last month penned a lengthy piece in Mother Jones arguing that just because the dossier turned out to be fiction doesn’t mean the Russiagate narrative is a hoax. He insisted Trump is still “guilty” of betraying America by cozying up to Russia.
Corn avoided mentioning Millian a single time in his 4,000-word essay and even cited “Russian Roulette” in his defense. In his telling, the fact that he and Isikoff showed some skepticism by reporting that the Justice Department watchdog revealed Steele may have exaggerated his most sensational allegations, makes up for repeating those stories in their book. Corn also continues to feature “Russian Roulette” as the backdrop to his Twitter page.
Corn admits he “chased after some of the allegations” but “couldn’t nail anything down.” Even so, he called on the FBI to investigate Millian in a Jan. 19, 2017, Mother Jones story. Months earlier, Corn gave a copy of the dossier to then-FBI General Counsel James Baker, whom he knows socially. (The magazine has appended an editor’s note to that article, stating: “Earlier Mother Jones reporting noted that Sergei Millian was reportedly a source for the Steele dossier … Content making reference to Millian has been appropriately updated.”)
In an RCI interview, Millian said that in addition to correcting the record, both men owe him an apology.
“Isikoff and Corn played a role in spreading evil rumors and gossip about innocent American citizens,” Millian said, noting he’s retained a libel attorney. “Now they are simply ducking reasonable questions about their role, as if they were not a part of harming people.”
Neither Corn nor Isikoff responded to requests for comment. (Read more: RealClearInvestigations, 12/09/2021) (Archive)