When a long-rumored, secret document detailing the apparently deep personal and business connections between Donald Trump and Russia was published online in January, public attention zeroed in specifically on one passage in the 35-page document — and it’s not difficult to understand why. That passage gave rise to the widespread belief that somewhere in the possession of the Russian government, there exists a Trump “pee tape.”
Now, it appears that Republicans in Congress are taking measures to discredit or suppress the “pee tape” allegations, and indeed the entire document that contains the now-infamous story, according to the top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff.
The “pee tape” passage was contained in “Steele Dossier,” named after its author Christopher Steele a highly experienced former agent for the British intelligence service MI6 (the British counterpart to the United States Central Intelligence Agency). The dossier detailed an alleged incident which had been the subject of insider gossip in Washington circles for months. According to the document, Russian spies had watched and likely filmed Trump in the Moscow Ritz-Carlton Hotel in November 2013 as Trump — who was then the owner the Miss Universe beauty pageant held in Moscow that year — engaged in “perverted sexual acts.”
The rumors and “Steel Dossier” alleged that Trump had hired Russian prostitutes who, unbeknownst to Trump, were actually in the employ of the Russian Federal Security Service, the FSB, the successor agency to the former Soviet Union’s feared KGB. Those prostitutes performed a “golden showers (urination) show in front of him” in the hotel, the document said. Furthermore, Trump deliberately held the “show” in the same room — and on the same bed — where U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama had stayed during their earlier trip to Moscow, in order to “defile” the Obamas’ bed.
The “Steele Dossier” also contained numerous other stories, such as the allegation that Trump campaign adviser Carter Page helped arrange a secret deal to sell shares in Russia’s state-run oil company Rosneft in exchange for Trump’s pledge to lift sanctions on Russia as president.
Some incidents detailed in the dossier have been verified, and in his congressional testimony in June, former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey — who was fired by Trump for his refusal to drop the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation — suggested that the FBI was in the process of confirming even more details.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee this week issued subpoenas to the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department for documents relating to the Steele Dossier, but they did so over the objections of Democrats on the committee who, as Schiff explains in the video interview below, believe that the Republican effort spearheaded by South Carolina congressmember Trey Gowdy is, in fact, an effort to “put the government on trial” and unfairly discredit the Steele dossier — and by extension, the entire Russia investigation.
Unilateral subpoenas issued by House Intel Majority appear to be part of effort to discredit Steele, rather than determine truth of dossier. pic.twitter.com/wzVZ1GUkde
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 6, 2017
But does the Trump “pee tape” really exist? Obviously, no such tape has surfaced publicly as of yet. But on Monday a leading Russian politician appeared to confirm that his government does indeed hold kompromat — that is, blackmail material — on Trump (see the Inquisitr article at this link for further details). And earlier, a respected BBC journalist revealed that multiple sources confirmed aspects of the “pee tape” story appearing in the dossier (see the Inquisitr article at this link for more information).
Trump has denied the story, and in July of this year he told the New York Times, “I went there (i.e. to Moscow) for one day for the Miss Universe contest, I turned around, I went back.” Trump also called media coverage of the pee tape story “so disgraceful.”
But according to a radio interview from two years earlier unearthed by independent journalist Seth Abramson, Trump then claimed that had spent the entire weekend in Moscow where he met “with top-level people, both oligarchs and generals, and top-of-the-government people… I met the top people and the relationship was extraordinary.”
According to a report by the BBC in January, the American CIA believes that the “pee tape” reports are credible — and that’s not all. The BBC reported that the CIA believes “more than one tape” exists, that the Russian government possesses both “audio and video” of Trump on “more than one date,” in “more than one place” and that this blackmail material is “of a sexual nature.”
Trump has also said that he assumed he was under surveillance during his entire Moscow stay and therefore would have been too careful to take part in any compromising activities. But as Abramson notes, a contestant in his beauty pageant — “Miss Hungary” Kata Sarka — has stated that Trump attempted to get her up to his hotel room on November 9, 2013, during his stay in Moscow.
Sarka made her claim in May of 2015, a month before Trump declared his candidacy for the presidency, and also a month before Steele was contracted to compile his intelligence report on Trump’s Russia ties, for the London-based private security firm that employed him, Orbis.
Finally, while Trump derided the Steele Dossier as “fake news” and most major media outlets dismissed its credibility, with even legendary Watergate reporter Bob Woodward of The Washington Post labeling it “garbage,” intelligence professionals — while not blindly endorsing its claims — take the document’s allegations seriously.
“For professional investigators, however, the dossier is by no means a useless document. Although the reports were produced episodically, almost erratically, over a five-month period, they present a coherent narrative of collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign,” wrote retired, 28-year CIA veteran John Sipher in Newsweek on Wednesday.
“I think it is fair to say that the report is not ‘garbage,” Sipher continued. “The Orbis sources certainly got some things right — details that they could not have known prior. Steele and his company appear serious and credible.”
[Featured Image By Evan Vucci/AP Images]