During the 2016 campaign, Hillary’s VP running mate, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) had several weasel-like moments. He’s been out of the spotlight since the Democrats were crushed in the election, but he appeared this week on CNN in an interview about the now infamous Fusion GPS dossier.
Kaine was specifically asked about the Clinton campaign’s role in funding the dossier. CNN “New Day” host Alisyn Camerota posed this question to Kaine: “You hear the talking points on the other side. We’ve heard this time and again over the past few weeks that it was the Hillary Clinton campaign that wanted dirt from Russians via Fusion GPS and via Christopher Steele.”
In a very defensive fashion, Kaine said Republicans are trying to change the subject. While Kaine told Camerota that he would have no issues with Robert Mueller looking into the issue, Kaine’s body language said otherwise. Naturally, Kaine denied any allegations that the Clinton campaign had any wrongdoing.
He tried to shift the focus to the Republicans by saying, “If you’re asking about the dossier, that was funded by a conservative online publication, the Washington Free Beacon”.
Before we continue, let’s recap, shall we?
Fusion GPS ordered the writing of the controversial dossier about President Trump’s ties with Russia. Former British spy Christopher Steele was hired by Fusion to write it. There is a trail from Fusion GPS to the law firm Perkins Coie—the same law firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign.
The Washington Free Beacon testified late last week to the House Intelligence Committee. They’ve been falsely accused of ordering the dossier, which they did not. The Beacon testified that it is standard practice to hire firms like Fusion GPS to research institutions and individuals of interest to their readers.
They say they retained Fusion’s services to provide research on multiple candidates—Republican and Democrat—in the crazy 2016 election cycle. The Beacon says all their work from Fusion was from public sources. They had no knowledge of the dossier, didn’t pay for it, and none of their research even appears in the dossier. The Beacon also said they had no knowledge of the tangled web of relationships among Fusion GPS, the DNC, the Clinton campaign and the Perkins Coie law firm.
Camerota knew this, and pressed Kaine further: “At first [the Beacon used Fusion GPS], but then the Hillary campaign, right?” said Camerota.
Kaine was ruffled. “Let me finish, let me finish. They [the Beacon] hired a firm working with a British Secret Service agent. And then when they decided to drop it, apparently we now know that some of the funds to continue the investigation were paid for by the Clinton campaign.”
DNC Chair Tom Perez continued the false narrative this week by reasserting that the dossier was indeed commissioned by the Washington Free Beacon. Perez averted questions about the DNC’s role in the mess. He would not answer questions about how much DNC contributed to the dossier or who in the DNC approved those payments. Like Kaine, Perez tried to redirect attention to the Republicans by saying, “Trump has a very shady relationship with Russian authorities.”
Unlike the unrelated work of the Beacon, both the DNC and Clinton’s campaign were directly involved in the dossier.
The Beacon is rightfully angry, and issued this statement: “To be clear: We stand by our reporting, and we do not apologize for our methods. We consider it our duty to report verifiable information, not falsehoods or slander, and we believe that commitment has been well demonstrated by the quality of the journalism that we produce. The First Amendment guarantees our right to engage in news-gathering as we see fit, and we intend to continue doing just that as we have since the day we launched this project.”
What is Fusion GPS? It is a research firm founded in 2009 by veteran Wall Street journal reporters Peter Fritsch and Glenn Simpson to “provide premium research, strategic intelligence, and due diligence services to corporations, law firms and investors worldwide.” The firm is based in Washington, D.C.
Although Fusion GPS advertises itself as “independent”, Washington insiders know very well that Simpson and Fritsch are running an opposition research firm. Everyone knows that the Dems in Washington frequently use it to dig up dirt on Republicans.
So for Perez and Kaine, it’s liar liar pants on fire. What did Hillary know and do? Is it a case of pantsuit on fire regarding the dossier? Time will tell.
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