South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn proclaimed with confidence that one of most salacious claims in the infamous Steele dossier is accurate, putting the Democrat at odds with Christopher Steele, the author of the unverified anti-Trump report.
Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat, said that he believes the dossier’s claim that the Russian government is blackmailing President Donald Trump with a so-called “pee tape,” in a Wednesday interview.
Asked by the hosts of BuzzFeed’s “AM2DM” show whether the tape is real, Clyburn speculated, “Yes, I do. I have not seen anything that would make me come to any different conclusion.”
“There’s a lot of smoke here, and when you see this much smoke, there’s a fire somewhere,” said Clyburn, who is not on any of the committees investigating the allegations made in the dossier.
Clyburn’s cocksure position is at odds with Steele’s level of confidence about the pee tape.” Steele, a former British spy, is only “fifty-fifty” on whether the Kremlin is holding the kompromot on Trump, according to the recent book “Russian Roulette. (RELATED: Steele Is Unsure Whether Salacious Dossier Claim Is Accurate)
Trump has vehemently denied the allegation, calling the dossier “crap.”
There is some reason to question the veracity of the pee tape claim.
One of the alleged sources for the claim is a Belarusian American businessman named Sergei Millian. The opposition researcher who hired Steele, a former reporter named Glenn Simpson, expressed doubts about Millian, who he considered a “big talker,” according to “Russian Roulette.”
“Russian Roulette” also established that Trump had very little time to engage in the activities described in the dossier. Authors Michael Isikoff and David Corn reported in the book that Trump spent one night in Moscow during his trip for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. Trump reportedly went to his hotel room after an event at around 1:30 a.m. He spent less than six hours in the room before showing up for a video shoot that morning.
Clyburn is the second Democratic lawmaker in as many weeks to say he believes the “pee tape” exists.
— AM to DM by BuzzFeed News (@AM2DM) July 25, 2018
Democratic Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley told BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith July 16 that he believes something similar to the tape exists.
“Your view is that the pee tape is real?” Smith asked Merkley.
“Something close to that,” Merkley said. “Something close to that.”
BuzzFeed, which published the dossier on Jan. 10, 2017, has a strong motive to continue putting lawmakers on the record about whether or not the tape exists. Several Russian businessmen are suing the outlet for defamation for publishing the report. BuzzFeed has hired private investigators in an attempt to prove some of the allegations in the document.
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