“Former FBI Director James Comey wrote in a newly released memo that pressure from news outlets — “CNN in particular” — convinced him to brief then-President-Elect Donald Trump on the infamous Steele dossier during a meeting at Trump Tower on Jan. 6, 2017.
“I said media like CNN had [the dossier] and were looking for a news hook,” Comey wrote in a memo just after briefing Trump about the salacious allegations in the dossier.
“I said it was inflammatory stuff that they would get killed for reporting straight up from the source reports,” he added.
Four days after that meeting, CNN published a story revealing the existence of a salacious report alleging the Russian government had compromised Trump. The CNN story was referring to what’s now known as the dossier — an unverified 35-page report written by former British spy Christopher Steele.
CNN found its news hook: the very same meeting Comey said was necessary because of pressure from CNN.
CNN’s bombshell report created another news hook but for another news outlet. Hours after the CNN story went live, BuzzFeed News published the entire 35-page dossier, which was later revealed to be funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC.
The report has cast a cloud over the Trump presidency ever since, even though Trump has vehemently denied its allegations.
The Republican has reportedly fumed he believes Comey set him up. Comey’s briefing was used as a pretext to publish the dossier, which alleges the Russian government is blackmailing Trump with video of him using prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room in 2013, the president argued.
The leaker of the Comey briefing to Trump has not been identified, though only a small number of government officials would have been aware of the meeting and of what Comey told Trump.
Joining Comey were James Clapper, John Brennan and Adm. Mike Rogers, the directors of the Office of National Intelligence, the CIA and the National Security Agency, respectively.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 4/19/2018)