Republican Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy reminded everyone on Friday that the existence of a GOP donor to Fusion GPS remains unconfirmed.
So far, reporting indicates that an anti-Trump Republican hired Fusion GPS for opposition research into then-primary candidate Donald Trump. That Republican apparently stopped paying Fusion when Trump won the primary, and the DNC and Clinton campaign took over the payments. It was at that point that Fusion GPS contracted with ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele to create the Russia dossier.
But in a CNN interview on Friday, Rep. Duffy questioned that the mysterious Republican donor even exists.
“The only person that has information about who that Republican client would be [is] Fusion GPS,” Duffy said. “Now, they’re the ones that said we had a Republican client–when we asked for a confirmation and the media asked for a confirmation, none has been given.”
“So I think you have this untrustworthy Fusion GPS that’s willing to take salacious and scandalous material about our president from Russian informants and put that out in a dossier–I don’t think they have credibility,” he continued. “There’s no independent verification of [a Republican donor] outside of what Fusion GPS said.”
Duffy has a point.
The idea of a Republican donor was first raised in a New York Times article in January, the day after Buzzfeed published the full dossier. A “person familiar” with the dossier told the Times that the alleged donor began paying Fusion GPS in September 2015, but little else has been revealed about the person since then.
The Daily Caller reached out to a number of top anti-Trump PACs and donors back in August and was unable to find anyone willing to take credit for paying Fusion GPS. (RELATED: The Search For Fusion GPS’ Mysterious Republican Client)
Byron York, a reporter at the Washington Examiner, similarly talked to top Republicans who may have been desperate for anti-Trump research, and many of them questioned the existence of a Republican donor to Fusion GPS.
“I don’t believe the mad Republican donor theory,” Mike Murphy, who ran Jeb Bush’s super PAC, said. “They all gossip. One guy is for Christie, his partner is for Bush. They all talk to each other, and I think I would have heard about it. And I didn’t.”
Terry Sullivan, who ran Marco Rubio’s campaign, said he had never even heard of Fusion GPS.
“The reason it is not at all believable that a Republican was behind it is, nobody used [any information] from it,” Sullivan said. “Everybody was pretty damn desperate at the end. If someone had a kitchen sink, they would have thrown it.”
York’s piece is filled with denials and statements of disbelief in this same vein.
Rep. Duffy is one of the few elected officials raising questions about the Republican donor, which seems to be fair based on just how little we know at this point.
“I’m going to wait and reserve judgment on whether there was a Republican there or not,” he concluded in his CNN interview.