BuzzFeed published documents Tuesday containing unverified information from an alleged former British intelligence agent on deep-ties between the Russian government and President-elect Donald Trump.
The report contains multiple unverified claims of President-elect Trump soliciting prostitutes while visiting Russia. Before the BuzzFeed story, CNN reported that President-elect Trump and President Barack Obama had been told that U.S. officials are aware that Russia allegedly has compromising financial and personal information on Trump.
An alleged former British intelligence agent turned private investigator — who was hired by anti-Trump Republicans and Democrats — compiled a dossier on ties between Trump and Russia. He reportedly gave the memos dated up to August 2016 to an FBI official in Rome. Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain reportedly gave memos from June through December to FBI Director James Comey on Dec. 9.
The only December memo BuzzFeed published was from Dec. 13. BuzzFeed wrote that they are publishing the unverified claims “so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.”
One of the unverified memos states that Russia had exploited “Trump’s personal obsessions and sexual perversion in order to obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him.”
The memo claims that an unnamed source told the alleged former British spy that Trump had gotten the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Moscow, “where he knew President and Mrs Obama (whom he hated) had stayed on one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling [sic] the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him.”
The unverified memo states that, “the hotel was known to be under FSB control with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.” The report says that another source, who was allegedly a staff member of that hotel, confirmed the incident to the former spook.
This is not the only unverified mention of infidelity and prostitutes in the documents BuzzFeed published. The alleged former British spy said that a services industry source told him that when Trump visited St. Petersburg he “participated in sex parties in the city too, but that all direct witnesses to this recently had been ‘silenced’ i.e. bribed or coerced to disappear.”
Much of the dossier details alleged Russian attempts to give Trump sweetheart deals that he didn’t end up taking. “Trump’s previous efforts had included exploring the real estate sector in St. Petersburg as well as Moscow but in the end Trump had had to settle for the use of extensive sexual services there from local prostitutes rather than business success,” the unverified memo states.
While the claims are unverified and from an alleged former spy turned private investigator, one journalist called it an “official intelligence report.”
BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith made public an email he sent to staff about publishing the dossier, in which he admitted that there is “serious reason to doubt the allegations,” as reporters had been chasing down claims and weren’t able to confirm them.
He added, “but publishing this dossier reflects how we see the job of reporters in 2017.”