When numerous troubling connections between Donald Trump and Russia surfaced during the course of the 2016 election, most of the media did too little to late to try to cover it. When the Steele Dossier surfaced shortly after the election, alleging that Vladimir Putting had helped install Trump so he could blackmail him for geopolitical gain, most of the media was quick to dismiss it as “unverified.” Why was the American media so hesitant for so long to acknowledge that the Trump-Russia scandal was real? You’d have to ask them. But it created an environment where anyone who did properly cover the Trump-Russia scandal in the early days was labeled a “conspiracy theorist” and worse.
So its notable that The Guardian, a major British newspaper, is now reporting on internal Kremlin documents which confirm that Putin really did have blackmail material on Trump all along, and that Putin wanted Trump in power because he was going to be controllable. After everything that most of the American media did to minimize the scandal in its early years, it’s fittingly an international media outlet that’s breaking this story.
The newly unveiled documents don’t specifically refer to a “Pee Pee Tape” but they do make clear that the “Kompromat” was obtained during one of Trump’s pre-presidency visits to Moscow. In other words, if it wasn’t a Pee Pee Tape, it was something obtained under similar circumstances, meaning the Steele Dossier was a heck of a lot closer to getting the story right than any media outlets who dismissed the dossier out of hand.
This is a full vindication for those who looked at the Trump-Russia evidence as it began surfacing, looked at how Trump was behaving toward Putin, and figured out early on that Putin was indeed obviously holding something over Trump’s head all along. It raises questions about why so many in the media (left, right, and center) tried to ignore the Trump-Russia scandal for so long. It also raises questions about how Trump’s presidency might have played out differently if the media had been willing to accurately call him out as a blackmailed Russian puppet from day one.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report