Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

The Steele Dossier Bacillus

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

In 2016, Hillary Clinton presidential candidate hired an ex-intelligence officer and foreign national, British subject Christopher Steele, to use Russian sources to find dirt (“opposition research”) on her then political opponent Donald Trump. So much for the worry about “foreign interference” in U.S. elections.

The public would take years to learn of the funding sources of Steele, because Clinton camouflaged her role through three firewalls: the Democratic National Committee; the Perkins-Coie legal firm; and Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS opposition-research firm.

Steele had collected rumor and gossip from mostly Russian sources in an effort to tar Trump as a Russian colluder and asset. We know now that his sources were either bogus or deliberately warped by Steele himself.

Almost everything in the dossier was unverified and later was proved fanciful. Yet with the help of high Obama administration and elected officials, the dossier’s gossip and rumor were leaked throughout the top echelons of Washington politics and the media. Its lies spread because its chief message — Donald J. Trump was a fool, dangerous, should never be elected, and once elected had no business as president — was exactly what the establishment wished to hear. In other words, the dossier was infectious because it was deemed both welcome and useful.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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