Editor’s note: Recently, a story based on a source associated with Claude Taylor was debunked as a hoax by the Guardian and disavowed by Taylor. In light of this, we advise any information derived from sources provided by Claude Taylor to be viewed in the light cast by this revelation.
CNN is rumored to be in possession of transcripts of phone calls between Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, and Russian officials in what could be a bombshell in the Russia investigation.
The investigation into the alleged collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian officials has grown considerably in recent weeks, with reports that Kushner has become a person of interest as the investigation reaches Trump’s inner circle. While there have been rumors of connections between Trump’s campaign and Russia dating back to even before the 2016 election, there has not yet been solid evidence connecting Trump or those within his inner circle to Russia.
That could change, one viral new report is claiming. Claude Taylor, an independent journalist who has shared information from sources in the intelligence agencies, claims that a CNN top executive is in possession of transcripts of phone calls made between the top White House officials and Russian officials.
Taylor did not divulge the nature of the phone calls or say when they took place, including whether it was during the campaign or after Trump’s election. He also did not mention exactly what crimes may have been revealed, but did relay that the CNN official believed it would reveal treason.
“We have seen and have copies of transcripts of calls between Kushner, Bannon and high level Russian officials,” Taylor wrote. “At the least, those two committed treason, and it’s hard to believe Trump wasn’t part of it.”
"At the least, those two committed treason, and it's hard to believe Trump wasn't part of it". 2/2
— Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) July 5, 2017
Taylor’s tweet went viral, garnering thousands of likes and re-tweets and spawning further conspiracy theories that Donald Trump’s recent attacks on CNN could be a preemptive attack before the information is released. Trump has ramped up his rhetoric against the cable network, with USA Today noting that he called the network “fake news” during a trip to Poland just days after he tweeted a GIF of his 2007 WWE appearance where someone superimposed the CNN logo on the face of a man being pummeled by Trump.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 6, 2017
There are also rumors that Trump could make a move to block CNN’s upcoming merger.
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) July 6, 2017
But many take Claude Taylor with a grain of salt. He has broken a number of major stories regarding the Russia investigation, with Paste magazine noting that he was the first to report grand jury subpoenas being issued to associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn seeking business records. But Taylor has shared other reports that remain unverified and others that he later amended or corrected.
The report that CNN has transcripts of phone calls between Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, and Russian officials is among those reports that remain unverified. Since Taylor’s reporting, there have not yet been corroborating reports from other journalists or news outlets, and CNN has yet to publish anything on the topic.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]