David Kramer, a longtime associate of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), revealed in an unsealed deposition that he had contact with at least 14 members of the media regarding the Steele dossier—a collection of 17 memos containing unverified allegations against Donald Trump.
Additionally, Kramer gave a full copy of the unverified dossier to then-Senior Director for Russian Affairs at the National Security Council Celeste Wallander, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), and then-House Speaker Paul Ryan’s chief of staff, Jonathan Burks. Kramer also provided a briefing in early December 2016 on the dossier to both Wallander and Victoria Nuland, then the assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian Affairs.
Kramer also provided ongoing updates to Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, former MI6 spy and dossier author Christopher Steele, and other members of the media regarding McCain’s meeting with FBI Director James Comey.
Steele had been hired by Simpson on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to produce the so-called Steele dossier on Trump.
Kramer, in his deposition, confirmed that he was BuzzFeed News’ source for the dossier. BuzzFeed published the dossier online in January 2017, resulting in a defamation lawsuit by Aleksej Gubarev, whose company XBT/Webzilla was mentioned in the dossier. The Epoch Times covered the court case in a previous article.
McCain famously denied ever providing a copy of the dossier to BuzzFeed, telling the Daily Caller on Oct. 18, 2017: “I gave it to no one except for the director of the FBI. I don’t know why you’re digging this up now.”
Kramer, who is an affiliated senior fellow at the McCain Institute, revealed in his deposition that he had been in contact with 14 journalists and producers about the dossier. These contacts included:
- ABC News: Brian Ross, Matt Mosk
- BuzzFeed: Ken Bensinger
- CNN: Carl Bernstein
- The Guardian: Julian Borger
- McClatchy: Peter Stone, Greg Gordon
- Mother Jones: David Corn
- NPR: Bob Little, Rachel Martin
- The Washington Post: Tom Hamburger, Rosalind Helderman, Fred Hiatt
- The Wall Street Journal: Alan Cullison
Kramer, who doesn’t appear to have spoken with The New York Times, noted that both Simpson and Steele were speaking to the Times directly because “they felt it required investigation by a serious news outlet, and they seemed to have chosen The Times at that point.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 3/15/2019)