The infamous story of the Donald Trump “pee tape” did not become public until January 10, 2017, when BuzzFeed News posted the “Steele Dossier” online, via DocumentCloud. But according to her Wednesday testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, former top Trump aide Hope Hicks and others in the Trump campaign were aware of the tape’s possible existence three months earlier.
According to a full transcript of her closed-door testimony posted online by the Judiciary Committee, Hicks said that she first heard “rumors” of “a tape involving Mr. Trump in Moscow” the day after the Access Hollywood tape. That tape was made public on October 7, 2016, pinpointing the date that Hicks first heard about the tape of Trump in Moscow as October 8.
That was more than three months before the alleged existence of the tape became public knowledge due to the BuzzFeed publication of private intelligence reports compiled by former British spy and Russia expert Christopher Steele.
As The Inquisitr reported, Steele described the tape as having been recorded during Trump’s November, 2013, visit to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant, which Trump owned at the time. During that brief visit, according to the allegations, Trump hired Russian prostitutes to perform a “golden showers” show for his viewing pleasure in his hotel suite at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton. The prostitutes reportedly urinated on a bed that had been previously slept in by President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama.
Hicks, in her testimony, described the tape as showing Trump “with Russian hookers, participating in some lewd activities,” as The Daily Caller recounted. Though Hicks said that she knew only of a “rumor” involving the tape, she believed that Harvey Levin, founder of the gossip site TMZ, might have possession of the tape itself.
Hicks told the Judiciary Committee that she felt her job at that point was to “contain” the rumor of the tape, to prevent it from “spiraling out of control.”
But rumors of the tape were apparently widespread in October of 2016. Hicks testified that she heard the “rumor” from Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson. Trump’s since-jailed personal lawyer Michael Cohen received a text message on October 30 from Russian businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladze, who was collaborating on the Trump Tower Moscow project.
In the text message, the businessman informed Cohen that he had “Stopped flow of tapes from Russia,” according to the investigative report by special counsel Robert Mueller, accessible online via The New York Times.
Rtskhiladze later told Mueller that he was referring to “compromising tapes of Trump” that were in the possession of “the Russian real estate conglomerate Crocus Group, which had helped host the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Russia,” as The Inquisitr reported.
Hicks, Cohen, and Rtskhiladze all appeared to accept the possibility that the compromising tapes of Trump may indeed be real, though Rtskhiladze told Mueller that he had heard the tapes themselves were fakes.