Hillary Clinton is claiming she was not aware of Trump dossier research until after BuzzFeed published it after the election, even though her campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) paid for it, according to the New York Times.
“Two associates” who discussed the matter with Clinton told the Times that not only was she unaware of it, but she was “disappointed” that the research and the fact that the FBI was investigating connections between the Trump campaign and Russia were not made public before Election Day.
The Times reports:
Officials from the Clinton campaign and the D.N.C. have said they were unaware that Perkins Coie facilitated the research on their behalf, even though the law firm was using their money to pay for it. Even Mrs. Clinton only found about Mr. Steele’s research after Buzzfeed published the dossier, according to two associates who discussed the matter with her. They said that she was disappointed that the research — as well as the fact that the F.B.I. was looking into connections between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia — was not made public before Election Day.
Even the Times seems somewhat incredulous, pointing that word of the dossier had circulated in Washington before the election and that media outlets were briefed on it but chose not to report it — with the exception of Mother Jones:
But word of the memos and their contents had circulated in Washington political and media circles before the election. In British court filings, Mr. Steele’s lawyers said that he and Fusion GPS briefed journalists from a range of media outlets, including The New York Times, on his research starting in September of 2016.
Yet the research and even the existence of the dossier were not reported by the media, with the exception of Mother Jones magazine, which published a story in the days before the election that described the dossier, its origin and significance, while omitting the salacious claims.
A law firm for the Clinton campaign and the DNC, Perkins Coie, finally admitted this week, after faced with the possibility that it would be disclosed to the public anyway, that it funded the dossier. The House Intelligence Committee had subpoenaed financial records for Fusion GPS, the firm that produced the dossier, and a judge is set to rule on whether those records have to be turned over this week.
On Tuesday, Perkins Coie released Fusion GPS from its obligation to remain quiet on who funded the dossier, and outlined what they could confirm publicly.
That same day, the Washington Post reported that the Clinton campaign and the DNC had hired Fusion GPS to look into ties between Trump and Russia and that the firm then hired Christopher Steele, an ex-British spy who conducted the research resulting in the dossier.
Marc E. Elias, the Perkins Coie lawyer who had hired Fusion GPS had previously denied to the Times funding the dossier. Anita Dunn, a veteran Democratic consultant and spokeswoman for the law firm, said, “Obviously, he was not at liberty to confirm Perkins Coie as the client at that point, and should perhaps have ‘no commented’ more artfully.”
She did not explain why Perkins Coie waited until being faced with exposure through financial records before releasing Fusion GPS from its confidentiality agreement or admitting to funding the dossier.