CNN continues to ignore suspicious activity on the part of Fusion GPS, mostly recently when network host Chris Cuomo said Friday morning that he is not concerned with bombshell reports that the head of the opposition research firm met with the Russian lawyer who attended the infamous Trump Tower meeting.
“We’re just learning that Fusion GPS was meeting with the Russian lawyer the day before and day after she met with Donald trump Jr. That looks like a setup to me,” Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz told Cuomo during an interview Friday morning. (RELATED: Russian Lawyer Took Fusion GPS Report Into Trump Tower Meeting)
He was referring to a bombshell report out from Fox News this week that Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson met with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya just before and just after she attended a meeting at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016.
Fusion GPS was at that time on the payroll of the Clinton campaign and DNC. The firm was also working alongside Veselnitskaya on a pro-Kremlin lobbying campaign to undercut the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 sanctions law.
Simpson’s interactions with Veselnitskaya have raised the question of whether he was aware of the Trump Tower meeting, which was attended on the Trump campaign side by Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Some Republicans, like Gaetz, have speculated that the meeting was a setup orchestrated by Democrats to compromise the Trump campaign. Another theory is that Veselnitskaya fed information back to Simpson that ended up in the dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele.
That dossier has been used by the FBI to open an investigation into possible campaign collusion. It was also disseminated by Fusion GPS to Beltway reporters prior to the election. BuzzFeed published the document in full on Jan. 10.
At the least, the Simpson-Veselnitskaya encounters would seem to test the veracity of the salacious dossier, which accuses the Trump campaign of coordinating with the Kremlin during the campaign.
Trump Jr. took the June 9 meeting after being offered dirt on Hillary Clinton. But he has claimed that the information offered by Veselnitskaya was worthless.
She took a four-page memo into the session, which she attended with a Russian-American lobbyist who has reportedly worked with Simpson in the past. The document makes a passing mention about shady campaign contributions given to the Clinton campaign.
In a surprise twist reported by Reuters on Thursday, that four-page memo was compiled by Fusion GPS. And as The New York Times reported last month, Veselnitskaya shared information from that document with Russia’s prosecutor general, Yuri Chaika.
That means that information gathered by Fusion GPS made its way to the Trump campaign, Kremlin, and the Democrats.
Cuomo dismissed the possibility that Fusion GPS was up to no good.
The true concern, he said, “is why Donald Jr. and other members of the campaign were so anxious to rush into that meeting and whether or not they were truthful about it all along. Those are the concerns.”
“So you’re not concerned that Fusion GPS, paid for by the Democratic party was meeting with this Russian lawyer the day before and day after she met with Donald Trump?” responded Gaetz, who is one of the House Republicans who is called on Special Counsel Robert Mueller to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation.
“That doesn’t concern you that Democratic opposition political research was being used for these purposes? That’s deeply troubling. We’ve got to look into that,” insisted Gaetz.
“What concerns me is an effort to remove a man at the head of an investigation for political reason. that’s what would concern me. Bob Mueller is a lifelong Republican. He is a decorated veteran.”
As The Daily Caller has previously reported, CNN has questionable ties to Fusion GPS. Its lead reporter on the Russia investigation is Evan Perez. Perez worked with Simpson on articles for The Wall Street Journal, when the pair worked at the newspaper. Simpson left the Journal in 2009 and founded Fusion GPS in 2011 along with two former Journal colleagues. (RELATED: CNN’s Undisclosed Ties To Fusion GPS)
Perez also appears to be close friends with several Fusion GPS partners and employees.