Does Trump’s Pee Tape Exist?

On November 8th, 2016, Donald Trump was successfully elected President of the United States of America On January 10th, 2017 – ten days before Trump was sworn into office – Buzzfeed published a dossier containing many unsavoury claims about America’s new president

Most controversially, the dossier claims that while staying at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow, Trump participated in ‘golden shower’ sex acts with prostitutes Moreover, the dossier claimed this activity was monitored and possibly even arranged by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, the FSB According to the report, the FSB recorded the event to use as blackmail against Trump The recording is colloquially known as the Pee Tape Trump’s opponents say the tape proves he is a risk to the security of the United States

Trump says the Pee Tape doesn’t exist and the dossier is fake news Who is right? Does the Tape even exist? It began in October 2015, The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative political website, hired Fusion GPS to research candidates standing for the Republican Party nomination in the upcoming 2016 presidential election Fusion GPS is a private investigative firm In June 2016 it employed Christopher Steele, the former head of the Russia Desk for Britain’s MI6, to compile a dossier answering the question, “Why did [Donald] Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?” The ‘notoriously corrupt police state’ in question is Russia Steele’s dossier comprises 35 pages of reports on the relationship between Russia and Donald Trump and his associates

On page two, point number three says that in 2013, “TRUMP’s conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew President and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where the had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ show in front of him” This act may seem bizarre or seedy, or may even offend you However, the crux of the matter lies not in the act itself, but in the following statements in the Steele Dossier: “The hotel was known to be under FSB control with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to … TRUMP’s unorthodox behavior in Russia over the years had provided the authorities with enough embarrassing material on the now Republican presidential candidate to be able to blackmail him if they so wished” If true, this falls into a traditional practice by Russian intelligence of obtaining ‘kompromat’ on public figures and politicians

In the past, this compromising material has often been gained through entrapment The FSB, or its predecessor the KGB, would set up embarrassing encounters that they could then record on photographs, by audio or by video The technology may have changed over the years, but one constant has remained: ‘kompromat’ is typically sexual in nature President Trump dismisses the pee tape claim as fake news designed to discredit him If this is true, then the motives behind the dossier should confirm his view

On October 27th, 2017, The Washington Free Beacon admitted it did hire Fusion GPS to carry out political opposition research on Trump At the time, Trump was one of many candidates fighting for the Republican nomination ahead of the 2016 presidential election Chief editor Matthew Continetti and chairman Michael Goldfarb said they hired Fusion GPS “to provide research on multiple candidates in the Republican presidential primary” As a conservative supporter of Trump’s presidency, it is hard to imagine why the Free Beacon would buy baseless slander against him However, Continetti and Goldfarb also say “had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele

"" Indeed, The Washington Free Beacon stopped employing Fusion GPS in May 2016 because Trump had won the nomination to be the Republican presidential candidate, thereby removing the need for opposition research Yet Fusion’s research did not stop, because the Democratic National Committee and the campaign to elect Hillary Clinton picked up the bill It is easy to imagine that the motives of the DNC and the Clinton campaign were less than honest However, evidence shows they did not simply hire a private company to invent dirt on Trump The co-owners of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, did not tell Christopher Steele who he was really working for

They simply told him that he was working for a law firm Technically this was true Fusion GPS was hired by Marc Elias of Perkins Coie, the attorney of record for the DNC and the Clinton campaign Steele reported to his bosses at Fusion GPS, and they reported to Marc Elias It is still unclear how much of the Steele Dossier’s information Elias passed on to the Clinton campaign

A spokesperson said the leadership of the DNC were not aware that Perkins Coie, through Elias, had hired Fusion GPS Even Clinton’s campaign managers, John Podesta and Robby Mook, did not know Christopher Steele was working for them until it was reported in Mother Jones magazine on October 31st, 2016 Therefore we can say that Fusion GPS works for clients from both ends of the political spectrum and has no business interest in falsifying its research We can also say that Christopher Steele was a subcontractor based in Britain who didn't even know who his clients were It is difficult to conclude that the dossier was written with any intention to lie – unless Christopher Steele himself had a bias against Trump

This is possible but difficult to prove According to all his friends and colleagues, Steele was ignorant of American politics in 2016 and had no preference for any American party In Britain, however, his voting record proves he is in the middle of the political road He supported Centre-Left Prime Minister Tony Blair, yet has also voted for Conservative Party councillors By American standards, he would probably sit on the Democrat side of the political aisle

On the other hand, he had a whole career gathering intelligence and his livelihood depends on maintaining a reputation for proper, accurate investigation It is not in his interests or, as far as we can ascertain, in his professional nature to write false reports However, investigation is not the same as verification Christopher Steele was hired to use his contacts in Russian intelligence to gather as much information as he could on the nature of Trump's relationship to Russia He did not have to prove that information was true

It is similar to when a police officer is called to the scene of a crime He must accurately report everything he sees and everything witnesses say The evaluation of the relevance of the evidence and the reliability of the witnesses comes later Consequently the memoranda in the Steele Dossier should be viewed as intelligence reports, not as official findings Indeed, in March 2019 Steele himself confirmed that he used unverified internet search results to collate some of the dossier

Furthermore, certain factual claims in the dossier have been disproven In September 2017, investigators on the team of Special Counsel Robert Mueller met Christopher Steele to interview him about the claims in his dossier The Mueller investigation was set up to probe efforts by the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 presidential election When the investigation’s final report was published, it revealed that a major claim in the Steele Dossier was factually wrong The dossier says, “TRUMP’S representative MICHAEL COHEN went to Prague in August/September 2016

for secret discussions with Kremlin representatives and associated operators/hackers” The Mueller investigation proved that Cohen never went to Prague on those dates If this part of the Steele Dossier is inaccurate, it means the claim about the Pee Tape may very well not be true

In fact, a footnote in the Mueller Report briefly alludes to possible Russian kompromat on Trump The footnote reveals that in October 2016, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received a text message from a Russian businessman The businessman’s text read, “Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there's anything else Just so you know” When the Mueller investigation interviewed the businessman, he told them that his message referred to “compromising tapes of Trump rumored to be held by persons associated with the Russian real estate conglomerate Crocus Group” Crocus Group helped host the Miss Universe pageant in 2013; Trump owned the Miss Universe Pageant Numerous former contestants have described Trump’s habit of walking in on them while they were changing In 2005, Trump told radio DJ Howard Stern that he enjoyed walking in on the beauty pageant contestants getting dressed

He was not aware that he was being recorded at the time Then in 2016, audio recordings emerged of Trump boasting about sexual assaults he’d made against women – again, he was unaware he was being recorded at the time Given Trump’s confirmed sexual misdeeds and his proclivity for being recorded admitted them, it is therefore highly probable that Crocus Group possesses compromising tapes about Trump However, since the only reason we know the Group might have kompromat on Trump is the word of this Russian businessman, we must give equal weight to his claim that the tapes they have are fake On the other hand, if the tapes are fake, it is suspicious that Trump prompted former FBI Director James Comey to investigate the tape, possibly as many as four times

Comey says, “I honestly never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current President of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013 It’s possible, but I don’t know” The people who do know are the ones who told Christopher Steele about the Pee Tape in the first place The Steele Dossier says that at least three sources confirmed the Pee Tape story to him The identities of his sources are protected in the report, referred to as Source D, Source E and Source F

The dossier says “Source D is a close associate of Trump who had organised and managed his recent trips to Moscow” According to The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, Source D is Sergei Millian, a Belarusian-American citizen Millian is an enigmatic figure He is a self-described businessman but his work and wealth come from unknown sources, and he is known to have close ties to the Kremlin He is also known to have tried to convince members of the Trump election campaign to take private sector jobs in Russia at the same time as working in the Trump administration

He also has confirmed personal ties to Trump Millian denies being the source for the Pee Tape story, and disappeared when the Steele Dossier was published He may have vanished with good reason On Boxing Day 2017, former KGB chief Oleg Erovinkin was found dead in the back of his car No cause of death was given

Erovinkin was a key liaison between Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and President Vladimir Putin The Steele Dossier mentions that someone very close to Sechin provided information about Russian attempts to influence the Trump presidential campaign However, like the other anonymous sources of the dossier, Christopher Steele denies Erovinkin was his source Nevertheless, Sergei Millian may fear that he too will die mysteriously, if he is identified as the source of information in the Steele Dossier Yet if the claims in the Dossier are fake, it is strange that anyone would fear for their lives – especially a man like Millian, who for all his mystery, seems to be a loyal Russian agent

If the Pee Tape exists, it fits perfectly within the Russian tradition of obtaining or orchestrating “kompromat” This can be used to blackmail and control Russia’s enemies With this is mind, it may be significant that President Trump is seemingly obsessed by the Tape’s existence As the saying goes, if he has nothing to fear, then he has nothing to hide His behaviour, reinforced by his history of being unwittingly recorded saying or doing embarrassing things, suggests that a pee tape might exist

But the only sources we have for the Pee Tape’s possible existence are untrustworthy Like the rest of mass media, when it published the Steele dossier, Buzzfeed said it could neither verify nor corroborate any of its claims According to Christopher Steele’s business partner, Steele himself believes there is only a “fifty-fifty” chance that the Pee Tape is real It seems that, like so many aspects of the Trump presidency, what you choose to believe depends on whom you would prefer to believe

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